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Washington State Department of Health’s call center can answer your questions. Call (800) 525-0127 and press #. You can also visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also see the latest status in Washington at www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
COVID-19 appears to spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes near others. Coughing and sneezing create droplets in the air that can cause disease if you breathe them in. The virus may spread before people show symptoms.
Touching your nose, eyes, or mouth after being around someone sick with COVID-19 is also possible, but unlikely way to become infected. It may also spread by touching a surface or object with the virus on it.
Check www.cowlitzcovid19.com for the number of positive cases in Cowlitz County, this is updated daily. You can also find some basic information about COVID-19 on this website.
Severe symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
Seek medical care if you are concerned about the health and safety of yourself or your clients. If you are over age 60, have underlying medical problems like diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, or weakened/suppressed immune symptoms, you may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its complications.
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 or other coronaviruses. National Institutes of Health scientists are actively working to develop a vaccine.
On June 23rd, Washington state Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced an order that mandates the use of cloth face coverings in most public areas. Effective June 26th, individuals are required to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces such as stores, offices and restaurants. The order also requires face coverings outdoors when you can’t stay 6 feet apart from others.
There are exemptions, including people with certain disabilities or health conditions, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and children under the age of 5 (though it’s encouraged to have children ages 3-5 wear a covering if possible). There are also situations when you can remove your face covering, such as when seated at a restaurant or when recreating alone.
You do not need to wear a cloth face covering in your home when you are only with people in your household, or when you are alone in your car. You do not need to wear one when you are outdoors and people are far apart.
Currently, we don’t know if a person can spread the infection when they don’t have symptoms. We continue to review new reports and guidance from the CDC as they become available. We will evaluate any changes needed to our response.
Talk to your healthcare provider. They will be able to determine if you should be tested. If you suspect you have COVID-19 follow these steps to prevent the spread of disease:
Self-monitoring: A person monitors themselves for symptoms, including fever, and reports any symptoms to their local public health department. Public health checks in periodically during the monitoring period.
Active-monitoring: The local public health department contacts a person daily to monitor for symptoms, including fever, throughout the monitoring period.
Quarantine is the separation of a person possibly exposed to a disease but not yet sick to prevent the potential spread of disease to others.
Isolation is used to separate a currently ill person who can spread the disease to others.
A fever is over 100.4 degrees F. If you have a fever, stay home and away from people.
We recommend people with suspected COVID-19 cases be in their own room in a health care setting. Health care workers are trained to remove their personal protective equipment and wash their hands after seeing a patient, so the infection doesn’t leave the room.
You should monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days.
If we have People Under Investigation in Cowlitz County, they would wait for test results at home, if their medical condition allows. They should stay in a separate bedroom, ideally with a private bathroom, away from housemates. They should closely monitor symptoms to make sure their condition is stable.
Food hasn’t been identified as a likely source of COVID-19 spread at this time. However, food safety practices routinely performed at home and work can help reduce the spread of coronavirus and other respiratory viruses in our community.
Though all restaurants and bars in Washington are temporarily closed for in-person dining, they may continue filling take-out orders and deliveries.
When handling food use a barrier like tongs, gloves or other utensil to prevent direct hand contact with food. To help reduce illness wash, rinse, and sanitize tongs and other utensils in self-service areas often throughout the day.
We are learning that COVID-19 lives on surfaces for varied periods of time depending on the material. Make sure to wash your hands frequently.
Handwashing is the preferred method to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.
Yes. Most health insurance plans will cover testing and treatment for medically-necessary services related to COVID-19. Copays and deductibles will still apply if you need treatment.
The Washington State Insurance Commissioner said he is working with health insurance companies and providers to waive COVID-19 testing fees and office co-pays. Talk with your provider before testing.
We recommend you contact your provider for guidance. Governor Inslee banned non-emergency services and elective procedures. Regularly scheduled checkups may be canceled or postponed. This applies to most hospitals, surgery centers and dental, orthodontic and endodontic centers in the state. It does not apply to patients with heart attacks or strokes, or in motor vehicle accidents. Emergency and urgent care is still available.
You have not been in contact with anyone known to be sick with COVID-19 within the last 14 days. Quarantine isn’t necessary. Monitor your symptoms and stay home if you get sick.
Unfortunately, no. If you believe you were exposed and you didn’t get sick, you were lucky, not immune. Even if you were unlucky and got sick from COVID-19, you may still be able to get it again later.
Donating blood is a safe activity and there is no risk of contracting coronavirus from the blood donation process. However, don’t donate if, in the last month, you have:
In addition, the normal donor screening process includes evaluation of your temperature, current health, and travel history.
Donating blood saves lives. All types of blood are needed for cancer treatment, trauma cases, and many other situations. The process only takes an hour and actual donation time is about ten minutes.