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The original item was published from 6/15/2020 8:56:50 AM to 7/15/2020 6:00:07 PM.

News Flash

Health & Human Services

Posted on: June 15, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Press Release: Cowlitz County Long Term Care Facility Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

Public health has been notified of a positive COVID-19 test in a member of management at a Cowlitz County
long-term care facility. This employee does not have contact with residents and health officials believe the
risk of infection to staff and residents is low. This positive test was found through universal testing of staff
and residents that is ongoing throughout Washington State at long term care facilities. Cowlitz County
Health and Human Services (CCHHS) is currently investigating and asking any close contacts to the case
to quarantine for 14 days.

The entire facility has been tested and a total of 97 tests were collected. Only 1 out of 85 returned tests so
far has been positive and twelve tests are pending. Health officials are not naming the facility at this time in
order to protect patient privacy and confidentiality. Residents, resident family members, and staff have all
been notified.

Public health nurses conduct contact tracing investigations for every identified COVID-19 positive patient
in Cowlitz County. Investigations include at least one interview, sometimes several over the course of
several days, with the patient (if they are well enough to speak), or with their personal representative (if
available). During these interviews the nurses determine the contagious period for each case (DOH
guidelines indicate the contagious period to start 48 hours prior to first symptoms). If a case was reported
to CCHHS by another jurisdiction, or close contacts of a case live in another jurisdiction, CCHHS staff will
work with the other jurisdictions as appropriate.

Staff also contact any individuals who may have been exposed to a person during the contagious period.
This includes persons living in the same home with the person who’s been infected, and assessment and
notification of other close contacts during the contagious period. Persons identified as being exposed are
instructed to self-quarantine. A close contact for COVID-19 is defined as being within 6 feet of a person
with confirmed novel coronavirus infection for a prolonged period of time or has had direct contact with
secretions from a person with confirmed novel coronavirus infection. The definition of “close contact” used
in Washington is the same as the CDC definition.

Cowlitz County Health and Human Services and the Incident Management Team will continue to provide
local updates on the Cowlitz COVID-19 coronavirus webpage at 

Follow us at:
Twitter - @CowlitzDEM
Instagram - cowlitzcountydem
Facebook - Cowlitz Covid-19 Incident Management Team
Previous Press Releases: 

Cowlitz County COVID-19 Contacts:

Cowlitz COVID-19 Info. Line 1-888-683-8676
Noncompliance Inquiry Line
Noncompliance Inquiry Form 


Public Information Officers Contacts:

(PIO) Main Line (360) 577-3107
(PIO) Email (questions) 
(PIO) Media Line (360) 442-7082


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