COVID-19 Information

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about the COVID-19 vaccine:


Updated January 10, 2023

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Frequently Asked Questions

A: COVID-19 is an infection resulting from a coronavirus that originated in 2019. It has several possible symptoms (see the FAQ below for more information).

Three Rivers Hospital works closely with Okanogan County Public Health (OCPH) and the state Department of Health (WA DOH), and we follow recommendations for patient care and infection prevention set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

A: The CDC has updated its list of common COVID-19 symptoms, which is not exhaustive:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms typically appear between 2-14 days after exposure. Some people may be unknowingly infected with the virus and do not have symptoms; however, they can still pass the virus to others.

COVID-19, influenza, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) are all respiratory illnesses, but each are caused by different viruses.

COVID and the flu share multiple symptoms, so it can be hard to tell which illness you have without testing. It can take longer to show symptoms with COVID, and patients typically are contagious longer. Older children and adults with RSV typically have mild symptoms, but young children and the elderly can become severely ill.

For more detailed information about the similarities and differences between flu and COVID, click here.

Please click here for a more general comparison of COVID, the flu, and RSV.

A: See the COVID-19 Resources link list to the right on this webpage for more specific information.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask in public spaces where you cannot maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Okanogan County Public Health keeps track of current vaccine locations, which you can find HERE.

Other precautions:
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water.
  • If your hands aren’t soiled, use a 60-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • 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 COVID-19 virus include:
  • People 60 years old and older
  • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • People who have weakened immune systems
  • People who are pregnant

A: First, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and limit your contact with other people as much as possible. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating for five days.

If you don’t have symptoms but need a test:
  • Come to the hospital’s main entrance between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Our clinic, Three Rivers Family Medicine, often has at-home test kits provided free by Okanogan County Public Health. For more information, call (509) 689-3749.
If you’ve been exposed or have non-emergent symptoms and want a test: 
  • Please call our clinic at (509) 689-3749. Our staff will do some preliminary intake paperwork with you over the phone and provide directions to our private testing area at the hospital.
  • We may ask you to wait 2-3 days to be tested if you have symptoms, or 5 days if you’ve been exposed but have no symptoms. Testing too early can lead to false negatives.
Current turnaround time for PCR tests:
  • Our Laboratory team can give you results within 24 hours.
If you’re experiencing serious COVID-19 symptoms and need immediate care:
  • Our emergency room is open 24/7.
    • Directions: Please enter the main hospital parking lot and drive to the northeast end of the building, where you’ll find the ER parking near a big, red EMERGENCY sign.
  • Optional: You can call the ER ahead of arrival at (509) 689-2517 to let our staff know you’re coming so they can be prepared to help you.
Severe symptoms to watch for

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 dispatch operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask before medical help arrives.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends following these guidelines.

If you test positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should:

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

If you:

  • Have been boosted; or
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months, or
  • Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

Then you should:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.
If you are unvaccinated or not boosted, the CDC recommends that you:
  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine, wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

Three Rivers knows it’s important to include families as 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. Our team continuously revisits this policy to ensure it’s fair and up-to-date with current guidelines.

Update: January 2023
Three Rivers Hospital has unlocked its front main entrance doors, and we’re once again permitting visitors on a restricted basis. The door to our emergency entrance is still locked, but simply pick up the red phone in the covered entryway to reach our nursing staff.

Our clinic, Three Rivers Family Medicine, has also unlocked its front doors! The clinic asks that patients come in alone for their appointments, unless they require a guardian or family member to be present.

We also offer virtual visits between inpatients and their loved ones. We’re grateful that the Three Rivers Hospital Foundation provided us with WiFi-connected tablets for this purpose.

Our Policy: *Please note in all cases, visitors will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath).
  • Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
      • Visitors to the facility are limited to only those essential for the patient’s physical or emotional well-being and care (e.g., care partner, parent).
      • In-person visits should be scheduled so nursing staff is able to show visitors the proper protocol for hand hygiene and PPE when entering and leaving the patient room.
      • Visitors are not allowed to be present during aerosol generating procedures or other procedures, unless necessary as part of patient care.
      • Visitors may only visit the patient’s room. They should not go to other locations in the facility.
  • Outpatient Services
      • We encourage patients to come alone to their appointments. However:
        • Patients who have a scheduled appointment or an outpatient procedure may have one visitor accompany them.
  • Emergency Department
      • Our Charge Nurse and ER team consider visitors based on each patient’s condition and situation.
  • Additional Guidelines for all Allowed Visitors
      • Visitors must enter through the Three Rivers Hospital main entrance between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and comply with screening requirements.
      • Visitors must follow masking requirements at all times while in the facility.
        • As of January 2023, the Washington State Governor’s Office still mandates masking inside all healthcare facilities.
      • Visitors who refuse to follow masking requirements will be asked to leave.
      • Visitors or patient supporters are encouraged to minimize their time in the facility and should not come and go throughout the day.
If you have questions about our visitor policy, or other non-emergent questions:

A: We are following U.S. Centers for Disease Control 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.

COVID-19 Symptom Screening

We screen every employee, provider, and visitor for COVID symptoms upon entering the building.

Masking Requirements

All staff, providers, patients, and visitors must wear masks inside the hospital and clinic. We are following the Governor’s mandate.

Where are COVID-19 patients in the hospital?

Three Rivers does take care of lower acuity COVID-19 patients, although hospitalizations have decreased. Any inpatients with highly infectious illnesses are roomed apart from the rest of our inpatients. Our negative pressure room in the Emergency Department is ready to go in case a patient needs to be isolated.

We regularly review and update policies and procedures to guide the care of patients suspected to be infected with COVID-19.

Three Rivers Hospital and Three Rivers Family Medicine have implemented internal policies to assure patients, staff, and surgeons are protected from COVID-19.

Testing requirements:
  • All patients arriving for a same-day surgery will be given a rapid antigen test.
    • If the patient has a high suspicion of COVID-19, and the in-house rapid test is negative, they’ll receive a follow-up PCR test.
    • If a patient tests positive, we may postpone their procedure 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.

A: If you lost your CDC COVID-19 vaccination card showing your vaccine type and shot dates, 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. After you are officially registered on that website, you can access your vaccine certificate as well as other Washington state immunization records for yourself and your family.


Three Rivers Hospital on Facebook will have updated information as it becomes available.

Okanogan County Public Health COVID-19 Information – Report your at-home positive test results here if you need help with groceries, bills, etc. while you are out of work.

Chelan-Douglas Health District

Okanogan County Emergency Management – Sign up for text, phone, and/or email alerts here.

Douglas County Washington Citizen Emergency Notification System

U.S. Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Resources

Washington State Department of Health

Washington State Hospital Association

FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Information