COVID-19 is an illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new form of coronavirus first seen in late 2019. There are many different types of Coronaviruses, they are usually mild and cause common colds and minor illnesses. However, this new virus (COVID-19) can cause much more serious respiratory illness in people, particularly the elderly and people already in poor health.

Current symptoms reported from patients with COVID-19 include:

  • 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
Like the common cold or influenza viruses, COVID-19 spreads:
  • through small virus particles called droplets, produced when an infected person breaths, coughs, or sneezes.
  • between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet for 15 minutes or more).
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19.

Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. However, some people have severe illness that leads to hospitalization, ventilation, or even death. Certain people are at higher risk of experiencing severe illness than others, including people who are older, people with underlying health conditions, those who have weakened immune systems, , and pregnant women.  However,  many people under the age of 60 who are otherwise healthy have experienced severe illness or death.  While less common, being young does not make you immune to COVID-19 or the severe illness that can result.

Anyone who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should get tested.

We also recommend testing for people who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to an outbreak situation.

See our Symptoms and Testing web page for a list of testing sites in Okanogan County.

It is currently unknown how long COVID-19 immunity lasts after the initial infection with disease. It may be possible to become infected with COVID-19 twice.

Practice everyday prevention actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick and remind everyone in your household to do the same.  These actions are especially important for older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions:

  • Wear a mask in public places
  • Practice physical distancing by keeping 6 feet between yourself and others that not members of your household in public places
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer with more than 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the used tissue in the trash
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Do not touch your face unless you have just washed your hands and fingertips
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles)
  • Designate a separate room and bathroom (if possible) for sick household members and clean and disinfect these rooms often
  • Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks
  • Make sure sick household members self-isolate and monitor their symptoms.
  • If symptoms worsen, please call your healthcare provider or seek medical attention immediately.

Contact Tracing is a public health tool with a proven track record of success in combating even the most dangerous of diseases. Please refer to our Contact Tracing, Isolation & Quarantine page for more information.

Yes, people in self-quarantine are not sick and can still have contact with their household members. Should they develop any symptoms, they need to quickly and safely isolate from all others, including those in their household, and to contact their medical provider. Read more about quarantining HERE!

Yes. As of June 26th, Washington State requires people to wear facial coverings when in both indoor and outdoor public spaces. For more information, see our Facial Covering webpage.

We know people with COVID-19 may not show symptoms and can still spread the virus to others. Recent research indicates wearing a face covering can significantly reduce the spread and incidence of COVID-19.

This is explained very well in an article by Dr. Butler, Health Officer for Chelan and Douglas Counties: Why you should wear a mask (It’s the air you share)

Visit our Okanogan’s Safe Reopening webpage for current information on which Phase we are currently in along with what is open and what is not.

We learn more every day about COVID-19 and how to care for people during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.  See the Pregnancy, Birth, and Caring for Your Newborn webpage from the Washington State Department of Health. 

For general questions about how to best protect yourself and what to know, see CDC’s Pregnancy and Breastfeeding information.

See our Travel Guidance webpage for current travel recommendations.

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