Smoky skies: What you can do to stay safe

VIDEO: Unhealthy air could last through weekend

SEATTLE — Heavy smoke coming from Oregon’s wildfires could create some health concerns, but there are some things experts say you can do to stay safe.

The smoke is noticeably worse, and that’s bringing a new health concern at a time we’re already dealing with a pandemic.

Health officials say it is important that people know just how bad the air is and take precautions when it reaches unhealthy levels, as seen already on Friday morning.

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Staying inside is probably your best bet, but the state’s health officer acknowledges that message doesn’t match the advice for avoiding COVID-19.

“When air quality is bad, stay indoors and close windows to keep air clean indoors. But we also know with COVID if you’re indoors and you don’t have good ventilation and you’re with multiple other people, that can increase the risk of COVID transmission,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer for the Washington State Department of Health.

Other suggestions include using a HEPA filter or indoor air cleaner if you have one and try to seal windows and doors to keep tiny particles out of your home.

Air conditioning can also help keep you cool, but as we all know, many people in our area do not have A/C in their homes.

That’s why health officials suggest if you have to open your windows to cool down your home, you can wear your mask indoors at home.