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:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
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.
Top recommendations include wearing a mask in public spaces where you cannot maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you’re able. For a list of vaccine locations in Okanogan County, please visit the Public Health COVID-19 website by clicking HERE.
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? (Updated)
A: First, if you suspect you may have COVID-19, please stay home and limit your contact with other people as much as possible.
If you wish to get a test, please call our clinic and select the COVID Hotline from the menu of options: (509) 689-3749. The clinic is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (except some holidays).
When you arrive for your test at the location directed, please wait in your car.
Updated Sept. 29, 2021:
- Due to a lower amount of staffing on weekends, we are scheduling most non-emergent tests between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you do not have symptoms, or if they are very mild, please hold off on coming to the hospital on a weekend for a test. We are doing weekend tests for severely ill ER patients and patients needing transfer to other hospitals.
- If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please quarantine at home until you can be tested and receive the results. Monitor your symptoms, if you have any (fever or chills, headache, loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, shortness of breath, coughing).
- For more accurate results, we recommend waiting for about five days to get a test after exposure or developing symptoms, unless they are severe.
- If you are experiencing any of the severe symptoms listed below, please come to the ER immediately.
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
- Blue or gray tint to skin, lips, or nail beds (depending on your skin color)
- Inability to wake up or stay awake
*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 mask before medical help arrives.
If I have/had COVID-19, how long do I need to self-quarantine?
The following guidelines for quarantine and isolation are from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
What to do
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
- Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
- If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
Isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected.
People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available).
What to do
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
- Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Wear a mask when around other people if able.
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.
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.
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.
As of August 23, 2021, Three Rivers Hospital and our clinic, Three Rivers Family Medicine, have resumed locking all main entrances and prohibiting visitors. This decision was made due to larger volumes of COVID-19 patients and the need to protect our staff and non-COVID patients from further potential exposure from visitors.
We hope to permit visitors in a limited capacity once again after this higher risk surge of Delta variant cases subsides. In the meantime, we do offer virtual visits between inpatients and their loved ones; the Three Rivers Hospital Foundation has provided us with tablets for this purpose.
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.
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, providers, patients, and visitors are required to wear masks throughout the hospital and clinic.
We do accept lower acuity COVID-19 patients on our Acute Care floor. They are isolated away from other inpatients and are not located near outpatient services.
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.
Depending on our inpatient volumes during COVID-19 surges, we may reserve the right to postpone or cancel elective procedures. Our leadership team monitors the patient census on a continual basis.
For more pre-surgery information, click here.
Q: I lost my vaccine card. How can I get a new one?
A: If you lost your vaccination card, you can obtain a certified Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine certificate online.
Register with MyIR Mobile, a secure site for residents to access their state immunization records. Once you are officially registered, you can access your vaccine certificate as well as other immunization records for yourself and your family.
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. Some visits are conducted using telemedicine, but in-person appointments are available as needed. More information about how the clinic is prepared for COVID-19 can be found on their website linked above.
- Send a monetary donation 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.
- Donate online securely, via PayPal
- PO Box 455, Brewster WA 98812
Would you like to help by donating gowns or masks for the hospital?
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