Cowlitz County Health and Human Services has received its first positive test result for novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
The confirmed case is a male in his 70s. The patient had been in isolation at PeaceHealth St. Johns’ Medical Center pending test results and is now recovering at home.
The Health Department is working as quickly as possible to identify close contacts of the confirmed case. Close contacts, which could include family members and coworkers, will be instructed to stay home for 14 days after their last contact with the confirmed case.
The Health and Human Services will release additional information as it becomes available.
Everyday practices to prevent colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses can help protect people against COVID-19. Public Health 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.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
If you experience mild symptoms, stay home while ill. Do not go to work, school or public areas. If you need medical care, call your provider in advance so the medical office can take steps to prevent exposing others.
If you have symptoms but have not been around anyone with COVID-19, the likelihood that you have COVID-19 is low. These symptoms are similar to symptoms caused by other respiratory illnesses circulating in our community, including influenza.
There currently is no specific treatment for COVID-19.
Those who have questions about COVID-19 can call The Washington State Department of Health novel coronavirus call center at 1.800.525.0127.
Cowlitz County Health & Human Services has a novel coronavirus webpage with additional information about the virus, what’s happening in Cowlitz County and how people can protect themselves from illness.