Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

COVID 19

What is the Health Department doing?

Cowlitz County announced it’s first case of COVID-19 in a Cowlitz County resident on March 20, 2020.  The Cowlitz County Department of Emergency Management has set-up a local COVID-19 information Line (toll free) at 1-888-683-8676.

Case Counts as of 4/1/2020, 12:45 pm
Number of lab confirmed positive cases    18

 *Numbers will be updated when information is released by the Incident Management Team, Public Information Officer 

COVID-19 testing is ordered at the discretion of local health care providers. Public Health does not provide COVID-19 testing and does not need to approve testing for COVID-19. Positive test results are immediately notifiable to Cowlitz County Health and Human Services; negative test results are not. 

Cowlitz County Health and Human Services identifies and notifies all close contacts of confirmed cases. Those individuals are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Public Health monitors those individuals for symptoms.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

Supplies to test people for COVID-19 are limited. For this reason, health care providers have to prioritize who receives testing. Not everyone with symptoms will be tested.

If you have mild symptoms, stay home and away from others until 72 hours after the fever is gone and other symptoms improve. If your symptoms worsen and you need to seek medical care, call in advance so your provider can make a plan to see you without potentially exposing others. Your health care provider will determine whether you need to be tested.

If you develop symptoms and have a condition that may increase your risk for serious illness -- age 60 years or older or have medical conditions -- contact your health care provider. Your provider may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19.

Here is additional guidance for people who have or think they may have COVID-19:

  • What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease, COVID-19, (English)(Spanish)(Russian) 
  • What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19, (English)(Spanish)(Russian)
  • What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been around anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, (English)(Spanish)(Russian)
  • Return to Work Guidance for Healthcare Workers (HCWs) and First Responders (FRs) Who Have Confirmed COVID-19 Infection or Are Asymptomatic with High or Medium Risk, Exposures* to a Known Case of COVID-19, (English), (Spanish), (Russian)
  • Recommended Guidance for Daily COVID-19 Screening of Employees and Visitors, (English), (Spanish), (Russian)

ACTIONS BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON

The situation in the State of Washington has been rapidly changing. The public should continue to watch for official statements from Governor Jay Inslee regarding protections against COVID-19.  Cowlitz County Health & Human Services will  share information as it becomes available on its Facebook page and website. 

Information on "Essential  Business" can be found on the Washington State Coronavirus Response web page.  Washington State has an online form where businesses can get clarification or submit a request for inclusion as essential under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation.  There is also has a Washington State online form to report businesses that are not following the proclamation. 

More information can be found on the governor’s website.

The Cowlitz County Incident Management Team has set-up a local COVID-19 information Line (toll free) at 1-888-683-8676.  In addition, there is a Cowlitz County online form to submit a “COVID-19 Enforcement Inquiry".  

The Cowlitz County Incident Management Team is accepting donations of new and unopened masks and other supplies.  Anyone interested in donating can call 360-577-3171.  At the present time the Cowlitz County Incident management team is not accepting donations of homemade medical masks, etc.  Please direct questions regarding donations and volunteers to the state at covidhelp@mil.wa.gov.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19? 

COVID 19 QuestionsCowltiz COVID Info LineCovid FAQ Opens in new windowCOVID Enforcement Inquiry Opens in new window

Everyday practices to prevent colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses can also protect people against coronaviruses, including COVID-19. The Health Department recommends people take the following actions to keep themselves healthy:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Stay home and away from others when sick
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched

How can I plan ahead for COVID-19?

  • Make an emergency plan of action with your household members, relatives, and friends. Visit Emergency Preparedness and You (on the CDC website) for more information.
  • If the disease starts spreading in our area, we might recommend to close schools or cancel events and encourage people to work remotely to slow the spread of the disease.
  • Make plans for alternative arrangements for your child or yourself in the case of a school dismissal or shutdown. Also make plans for your elders and your pets, as needed.
  • Check in with your work about your sick leave and telework options, should you need to stay home to care for a household member.
  • Make a list of your emergency contacts — family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, local public health department, and community resources.
  • Gather extra supplies, such as soap, tissues, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you or one of your household members have a chronic condition and regularly take prescription drugs, talk to your health provider, pharmacist, and insurance provider about keeping an emergency supply of medications at home.

Additional resources

  • Washington State Department of Health call center: 1.800.525.0127
  • Washington State Department of Health novel coronavirus outbreak webpage
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus disease 2019 website
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information for travel webpage
  • Washington State Department of Health communities and community organizations resources webpage
  • Novel coronavirus fact sheets: English, Spanish, Russian

For parents and caretakers

For schools and child care centers

For businesses and employers

For health care providers, clinics and hospitals

For long term care facilities

For emergency medical services