Information about COVID-19

Please click the red button to learn more
about the COVID-19 vaccine:

Note

Update Jan. 27, 2022: Please be aware that if you are getting a COVID-19 test at Three Rivers Hospital for travel purposes, the current estimated turnaround time for results is 48-72 hours. More information is in the FAQ below about our testing process.

Novel Coronavirus

Frequently Asked Questions

A: COVID-19 is the name given to an infection that results from a coronavirus which seems to have originated in 2019. Due to international travel and the highly contagious nature of this virus, it spread to other areas of the world fairly quickly, 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 (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. 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.

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; see the COVID-19 Resource link list to the right on this webpage.

Top recommendations to protect yourself 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. For a list of vaccine locations in Okanogan County, visit the Public Health COVID-19 website by clicking HERE.

The best way to curb the spread of germs 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 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.

Due to a lower amount of staffing on weekends, non-emergent tests are done 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 weekends for a test.

We are reserving our limited rapid tests and PCR in-house tests for severely ill patients, inpatients, and ER patients needing transfer to other hospitals.

When you arrive for your COVID-19 test at the location directed, please wait in your car.

Current Testing Process at Three Rivers:

  • The current estimated turnaround time is 48-72 hours, so please plan ahead if you know you’ll need a pre-flight test or a return to work/school test.
  • If you need a travel test:
    • Come to the hospital’s main entrance (507 Hospital Way, Brewster) between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekdays. Masks are required. After you check in, you’ll be asked to complete the necessary paperwork before getting tested.
  • If you need a test for symptoms/exposure:
    • 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.
    • To ensure more accurate results, 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.

New isolation guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (full press release can be found by clicking HERE).

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 following guidelines for quarantine and isolation are from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

(Video) The Difference Between Quarantine and Isolation

Quarantine

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
  • 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.

Isolation

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:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html.

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.

We urge all infected individuals who aren’t sick enough for hospitalization to please self-quarantine at home for 14 days. If you believe you need to be tested or seen by a healthcare provider, please call our hospital (509.689.2517) or clinic (509.689.3749) before you arrive so our healthcare professional can be prepared to help you as quickly as possible.

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 updated policies and procedures to guide the care of patients suspected to be infected with COVID-19 and the safety of our personnel. 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.

An important key of our patient care philosophy includes 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 visits are restricted until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community.

Update December 22, 2021
Because Okanogan County is experiencing lower COVID-19 infection rates, Three Rivers Hospital has unlocked its front main entrance doors, and we’re once again permitting one visitor per patient on a limited basis.

Our clinic, Three Rivers Family Medicine, is keeping its doors locked for now and asks that only patients and a parent or guardian come inside the clinic. Our team is continuously revisiting access to our facilities and the safety of our patients and staff with regard to COVID-19 exposure.

We also offer virtual visits between inpatients and their loved ones; the Three Rivers Hospital Foundation has provided us with internet 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 our Business Development Coordinator at media@trhospital.net.

A: Every employee, provider, and visitor must be screened for COVID-like symptoms before they’re allowed to enter the building. As of December 22, 2021, the hospital’s front main entrance is unlocked and we’re allowing one visitor per patient on a limited basis. Our clinic has elected to keep its doors locked for now and asks that only parents and guardians attend clinic visits with patients, when applicable.

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.

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.

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.

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.
  • 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?

Visit our PATTERNS web page