Media Contact: Kelli Hawkins
For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2020
Today, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a new positive case of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Spokane County. With this new case, there is now a total of five. Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) is identifying and contacting those who may have come in contact with the infected individual. They will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.
SRHD emphasizes the importance of taking the recommended measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 through personal preparedness measures and social distancing. Positive cases in Spokane County are posted on srhd.org and updated daily.
People most at risk have underlying health conditions, are over the age of 60, traveled internationally to a high-risk country, were in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and/or have symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
If you think you are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 or have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, call ahead before you go to your healthcare provider, urgent care, or the emergency department. You can also call your health insurance’s nurse hotline or triage; the number can be found on their website or on the back of your insurance card.
The Washington State Department of Health has provided the following guidance to help people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, are concerned that they were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or who have tested positive themselves:
- What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
SRHD continues to encourage people to take the following steps to stay healthy:
- Stay home when you are sick. Staying home when ill prevents the spread of infections to others.
- Use good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene in all community settings, including homes, childcare facilities, schools, workplaces and other places where people gather. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and put the used tissue in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60-95% alcohol) if you can’t wash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Germs often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
- Have contingency plans for your family in the case of school closures. Ask your employer about working from home, not only to prepare for school closures, but also to prevent possible exposure.
- Support each other, regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality, and including individuals who have become ill. Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick.
- Do you have travel plans? Take time to read the CDC’s guidance on travel (available on SRHD.org) to see how your plans may be affected.