Information about COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is COVID-19 or the coronavirus?
A: The novel coronavirus is a respiratory infection that originated in China in December 2019. COVID-19 is the name given to the disease that results from this coronavirus. Due to international travel and the highly contagious nature of this virus, it has spread to other areas of the world, including the United States. It has several possible symptoms (see the FAQ below for more information).
Three Rivers Hospital works closely with Okanogan County Public Health and the state Department of Health, and we follow recommendations for patient care and infection prevention set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: The CDC has updated its list of common COVID-19 symptoms, which is not exhaustive:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Symptoms typically appear between 2-14 days after exposure. Those with compromised immune systems or existing health conditions may experience more severe symptoms or complications, and they are urged to take extra precautions. Some people may be unknowingly infected with the virus and do not have symptoms; however, they can still pass the virus to others.
Q: How can I protect myself and my family from this virus?
A: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has a wealth of resources about how to stay healthy at home, in the workplace, and in the community; resource links are to the right on this page.
The best way to curb the spread of bacteria is to wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap, or use a 60-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Hand-washing is especially important before eating, after using the bathroom, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Other precautions include:
- Stay away from those who are sick
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially while out in public
- Stay home if you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms
- Cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow to reduce the spread of germs around you
People at higher risk for serious complications from the virus include:
- People 60 and older
- People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
- People who have weakened immune systems
- People who are pregnant
Q: What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms, and when should I seek medical attention?
A: First, if you suspect you may have COVID-19 please stay home and limit your contact as much as possible with other people.
If you wish to get a test, please call our clinic, located next door to the hospital, and select the COVID Hotline from the menu of options: (509) 689-3749.
For the protection of our staff, physicians, and other patients, we ask that you please do not come to the hospital with these symptoms before calling us first. We will ask you to wait in your car for one of our nurses to triage you and determine the best course of action to prevent spreading the virus.
If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
If I have/had COVID-19, how long do I need to self-quarantine?
The below guidelines for discontinuing home isolation are from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
For individuals with symptoms who are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 and are directed to care for themselves at home, discontinue home isolation under the following conditions:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND,
- At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue home isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness.
Additional information for your household members, intimate partners, and caregivers is available at:
Q: What is Three Rivers Hospital doing to be prepared for COVID-19?
A: We are following CDC recommendations and working closely with Okanogan County Public Health and the state Department of Health to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 status and changes. Please refer to the Okanogan Public Health COVID-19 Information website for current information about confirmed cases, recovered cases, and deaths in our area.
We urge all infected individuals who aren’t sick enough for hospitalization to please self-quarantine at home for at least 14 days. If you believe you need to be tested or seen by a provider, please call our hospital (509.689.2517) or clinic (509.689.3749) ahead of showing up so our staff can be prepared to help you when you arrive.
Okanogan County commissioners have issued a state of emergency, and Three Rivers is ready to establish on-site Incident Command if needed to handle an influx of patients or anything else that happens. We’re also working with other health care organizations throughout the region to share information and resources.
Our negative pressure room in the Emergency Department is ready to go in case any patients need to be isolated. We have implemented hospital-wide policies to guide the care of patients suspected to be infected with COVID-19. Employees in all departments are thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting their areas, especially our waiting rooms and other high traffic areas, multiple times a day and as needed. We are continuously working with our vendors and Public Health to ensure that we have adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) and cleaning supplies on hand.
Q: How is Three Rivers Hospital protecting patients and visitors?
A: All main entrances are locked, and every employee, provider, and visitor must be screened for COVID-like symptoms before they’re allowed to enter the building.
If you arrive at the hospital after regular business hours, please use the exterior courtesy phone in the area between the sets of double doors to call the nurse’s station and let them know you’re here. Someone will come out to help you.
Hospital employees who have contact with patients throughout the day will be screened for symptoms twice during their shifts.
In addition, all staff and providers are required to wear masks throughout the hospital and clinic while in patient care areas, hallways, and other common areas where proper social distancing may not be possible.
What is the visitor policy at Three Rivers?
Our patient care philosophy depends greatly on engaging families to be part of the healing process. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we must take extra steps to protect our patients, staff, visitors, and the community. All routine visitation is restricted until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community.
Three Rivers Hospital’s current visitor policy, effective June 2021, is as follows:
- Visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- All visitors must enter through the hospital’s main front lobby entrance and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
- For Non COVID-19 Patients:
- Upon admission, a hospitalized patient may identify one individual to serve as their patient supporter for the entire duration of the patient’s stay, during visiting hours only.
- A patient supporter is someone who accompanies a patient to aid in their recovery and healing.
- Exceptions for patient supporters to remain in a patient’s room outside of visiting hours may be considered to ensure the safety of the patient in cases of mental illness, developmental, or physical disabilities.
- We appreciate that circumstances (eg. longer hospitalizations) might dictate a need for a one-time transfer of the patient supporter role to another individual for the remainder of the hospitalization.
- Please note in all cases a visitor will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath).
- Additionally, children under the age of 18 are not allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.
- End-of-Life Patients:
- End of life patients are limited to two visitors at a time, with a total maximum of six visitors within the end-of-life timeframe (within 24 hours).
- Outpatient Services:
- We encourage patients to come alone to their outpatient appointments. However:
- Patients who have a scheduled appointment, an outpatient procedure, or are visiting the Emergency Department may have one visitor accompany them.
- Parents may bring children (if there is no alternative), if the child is wearing a well-fitted mask for those aged 2 and up.
- We encourage patients to come alone to their outpatient appointments. However:
- For COVID-19 Suspected and/or Confirmed Patients in Isolation:
- End of life COVID-19 patients still in isolation are limited to two visitors at a time, with a total of six visitors within the patient’s end-of-life timeframe (within 24 hours).
- Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis for end-of-life care or to reduce disruptive/unsafe patient behavior.
- The Three Rivers Hospital Foundation has provided iPads and Android tablets for our COVID-19 patients to visit remotely with their loved ones.
- Additional Restrictions:
- Visitors cannot have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days or have been exposed to anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
- Visitors will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19: Fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Visitors must properly wear a mask at all times while in the hospital. Visitors who choose not to adhere to the masking requirement will be asked to leave.
- Visitors should not come and go from the hospital throughout the day. They must remain in the patient’s room the entire time, except for bathroom breaks or getting a meal. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, except for restroom and meal requirements, they must leave the facility.
- Religious leaders may visit COVID-19 patients during normal visiting hours unless the patient’s status dictates otherwise, or the presence of the religious leader disrupts patient care. Visits must be arranged through Nursing Administration or the Charge Nurse.
- Visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you have questions about our visitor policy, or other non-emergent questions, please feel free to reach out to us via Facebook or email Business Development Coordinator Jennifer Best at email@example.com.
What can I expect if I’m having surgery at Three Rivers?
Three Rivers Hospital and Three Rivers Family Medicine have implemented internal policies to assure patients, staff, and surgeons are protected from COVID-19.
All surgery patients will be tested for COVID-19 before their scheduled procedure date, per current recommendations. If a patient tests negative, they will be asked to stay home and self-isolate until their surgery day in order to avoid risking exposure. If they test positive, their procedure will be postponed as long as it’s safe to do so.
For more pre-surgery information, click here.
Q: How can I help Three Rivers Hospital?
We very much appreciate everyone who has reached out asking how they can help Three Rivers Hospital during this time! Here are a few ways you can help:
- We are accepting donations of handmade masks and gowns, which could be used by employees, patients, and visitors. Please drop them off at our Patient Registration desk at the hospital’s front entrance at 507 Hospital Way, Brewster.
- Link to patterns: https://threerivershospital.net/covid-19-information/pattern/
- Keep your appointments at our clinic, Three Rivers Family Medicine. Most visits are currently conducted using telemedicine, but some in-person appointments are available as needed. More information about how the clinic is prepared for COVID-19 can be found on their website.
- Send a monetary donation by mail to the Three Rivers Hospital Foundation, which helps pay for patient care equipment and supply needs. So far, they have purchased two iPad Minis with stands, allowing inpatients to communicate with their loved ones, and four new Ford brand PAPRs with hoods for health care workers to use when treating COVID-19 patients.
- PO Box 455, Brewster WA 98812
- We are also contending with the unfortunate situation of a lack of revenue due to the pandemic and lower patient volumes. Our situation is explained in this press release, and this video by The Washington Post. If any community members would like to help, we encourage them to call their state and U.S. representatives to explain how important Three Rivers is to you, your family, and our rural communities.
- U.S. Congressman Dan Newhouse: (202) 225-5816, or send him a message at this email address.
- U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell: Multiple methods of contacting her are available here.
- U.S. Senator Patty Murray: A fillable form and phone numbers can be found on her website here.
- 12th District Rep. Mike Steele: (800) 562-6000, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 12th District Rep. Keith Goehner: (509) 664-1274, (800) 562-6000, or email him here at email@example.com.
- 12th District Sen. Brad Hawkins: (360) 786-7622, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Rivers Hospital on Facebook will have updated information as it becomes available.
Okanogan County Emergency Management – Sign up for text, phone, and/or email alerts here
U.S. Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Resources – Including online self-checker tool for symptoms
- CDC Guidelines for High-Risk Populations
- How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
- Handwashing and Hand Sanitizer Use – English
- Running Essential Errands
- Social Distancing
- Daily Life and Coping
- Caring for Someone Sick at Home
- Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes
Would you like to help by donating gowns or masks for the hospital?