If you would like to schedule a COVID-19 test, please call our clinic at (509) 689-3749 and select the COVID-19 hotline from the menu of options. Thank you!
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 is working to stay updated on a daily basis 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.
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: In November 2020, Governor Jay Inslee reinstated some restrictions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the face of a third surge. This is a month-long order that includes recommendations to stay home during the Thanksgiving holiday and only celebrate with people within your own household. The full document explaining the restrictions can be found here: COVID-19 Guidance
Okanogan County and Douglas County are on Phase 2 of the governor’s Safe Start plan (click here to read the full plan). Three Rivers Hospital strongly encourages all residents to comply with this order to help keep our communities safe.
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:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
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.
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: We have locked all main entrances and require every employee, provider, and visitor to 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. Those who can work from home have been requested to do so until further notice.
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 COVID-19 Team periodically reviews our visitor policy. As a responsible community partner, we want to keep you all as safe and healthy as possible.
It’s during difficult times when we fully realize how vital relationships are, so this pandemic has presented a unique and unfortunate challenge to that. We understand and value the importance of family and the comfort visitors bring to our patients. Our hearts go out to all those who want nothing more than to be by their loved one’s side.
However, we have a greater responsibility to all our patients. Their safety is always our No. 1 priority. Health care workers are among one of the highest risk groups, and we have a duty to keep them safe as well.
Three Rivers Hospital’s current visitation policy:
We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below.
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 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.
Exceptions to this visitor policy include:
Patients who are at the end-of-life may have two visitors.
Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor.
Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.
Minors under the age of 18 may have one visitor, either a parent or a guardian.
When visitors are allowed, they must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the facility.
Please note that visitors will not be allowed for patients with a pending or positive COVID-19 test.
Visitors will not enter patient rooms; they must use telecommunication. The Three Rivers Hospital Foundation has provided iPad Mini tablets and Android-compatible tablets so inpatients can visit with their loved ones virtually.
Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for end-of-life care or to reduce disruptive/unsafe patient behavior.
If you have questions about our visitor policy, or other non-emergent COVID-related questions, please feel free to reach out to us via social media or by emailing 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.
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. 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.