COVID-19: FAQs and Information

Posted Wed, 3/04/2020 - 12:30pm by  |  Category: ,

Update: March 12, 2020

Dear friends of Hugo House,

Over the past week, we have been trying to keep our doors open because we know Hugo House provides a source of sustenance beyond physical health to many of you. However, at this point, the evidence is clear: we all need to be doing whatever we can to slow the spread of contagion. Because of this, beginning Friday, March 13, we are moving all classes to online video conferencing for the remainder of the winter quarter. 

If you are in a winter quarter class, you will receive instructions about how to access the class online. We will offer class credits to students for whom this remote option is not acceptable.

We have also decided to close our Salon space and postpone all events and programs from March 13 through March 31. We will also be rescheduling our Word Works talk with Adam Johnson (April 2) for the fall. 

As a community gathering space, this was a difficult but necessary decision. Everyone must take preventative actions to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and that includes those of us who may still feel healthy or safe gathering in public spaces. 

We will continue to assess our plans as the days and weeks progress, and we’ll announce any further news through email, social media, and on our website. If you have questions, it’s best to reach out by email:

Unlike so many arts institutions around town, we are in a unique position to be able to still engage as a community during this time, and to continue the dialogue, purpose, artistic expression, and community-mindedness we’re able to offer in our classes, even if we can’t physically sit together in the same room. We’re also currently exploring options for digital delivery or facilitation of events and programs, and hope to be able to share information about those soon.

We at Hugo House have been amazed and uplifted by the united response of our community during this uncertain time, and we’d like to thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your empathy. Like many small businesses and arts organizations, we’re already feeling the impact of cancelled classes and events; if you are able to donate the price of a ticket or registration rather than ask for a refund, or support the organization directly, we are profoundly grateful. 

As James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Thank you for being a part of our community, and for facing this challenge with us.


Tree Swenson

Executive Director

March 4, 2020

We know everyone is worried about COVID-19.

As you have undoubtedly heard, there is a growing concern here in King County regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has all of us thinking about the precautions and preventive measures we need take to stay healthy.

Here at Hugo House, we are taking note of all new information from the Center for Disease Control, the Washington State Department of Health, and King County Public Health. We are taking additional measures to ensure our surfaces are clean and disinfected, and we have plenty of hand sanitizer available for visitor use. Please help out by washing your hands before you go into class, and stay home if you are sick or feeling unwell.

We will announce any schedule adjustments through social media, email, and our website. We are also working on technology upgrades that will allow remote access to classes and will provide more information soon.

There’s no better salve for times like these than community and an artistic outlet, so we look forward to seeing you for a wonderful spring quarter.

Below, we have posted some information about how COVID-19 spreads, and what you can do to slow the spread of germs.

More information can be found at the CDC and the WA State Dept. of Health.

How is COVID-19 spread?

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 primarily include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.
  • COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via coughs or sneezes. It may also spread by touching a surface or object with the virus on it.
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest, though some spread is possible before people show symptoms.

To help out your neighbors, students, and classmates and slow the spread of germs, we ask that you keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • If you are feeling unwell, do not come to class.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in a waste basket, and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. (We have a big bottle of hand sanitizer on the bar.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

As of March 4, King County Public Health is recommending, but not requiring, the following steps:

  • People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:
    • People 60 and older
    • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
    • People who have weakened immune systems
    • People who are pregnant
  • All people should not go out when they are sick.

Up-to-date information from King County Public Health can be found here.