Canva - Woman in Blue Shirt Wearing Face Mask

March 17, 2020

In response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. and Washington State, our organization is working closely with the Washington State Department of Health and Northeast Tri-County Health Department.   We are monitoring this rapidly evolving situation closely and taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and community. We will share resources and updates on this page as the situation develops.

Notices / Updates to NEW Health Patients

    What is the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

    Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus strain spreading from person-to-person in similar ways as the common cold or flu, such as coughing or sneezing.  Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.

    Symptoms of COVID-19 illness can range from mild to severe and appear 2-14 days after exposure. Similar to other viral respiratory illnesses, symptoms generally include (but not limited to) fever, cough, shortness of breath headache, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, joint pain and new loss of taste and smell.  Transmission is person to person via respiratory droplets, touching infected object then touching your own mouth, nose, eyes

    What you can do:

    There are steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that people should take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. These include:

    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Wear a mask outside your home, or around anyone who is sick.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
    • Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
    • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
    • Avoid travel to high-risk areas or countries. The CDC has a list of level 2 and 3 travel health notices on their website.

    The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.

    Stay home if:

    You are sick, especially if you have a respiratory illness symptoms.  

    • You have traveled to a country on the CDC list of level 2 or 3 travel health notices and feel ill, call your provider.

    When to go to the doctor:

    If you have symptoms of a fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, joint pain, and new loss of taste and smell, call your provider, don’t go to the ER unless directed to.  Your provider can give you further instructions and determine if you need testing.

    How is NEW Health prepared for COVID-19 in our community?

    NEW Health is prepared and ready to care for patients with suspected cases of COVID-19.  Our clinical teams have been trained on how to identify, isolate and care for patients with this and other contagious illnesses. All clinics have protocols and systems in place to keep patients, visitors and health care workers safe, and we work closely with the Washington State Department of Health and Northeast Tri-County Health Department as well as the CDC to implement their guidance into our established protocols.

    Patients will be screened for symptoms and given direction whether to come into the clinic or further testing.

    • Patients in our medical clinics will be asked to wear a mask.
    • Dental patients that are sick may be rescheduled.

    As of 11-20-20 Updated COVID Testing Overview:

    NEW Health is providing access to COVID testing, however increased demand for testing has made it necessary to offer testing to individuals with symptoms or exposure.

    We offer COVID testing at the following locations: Chewelah, Colville, Lake Spokane, Loon Lake, Northport, Selkirk and Springdale. As testing volumes increase, you may need to wait depending on the day and location. We use medically appropriate testing criteria guidelines from the CDC and the Washington State Department of Health. Tests sent to our local Laboratory take approximately 1-3 days to receive results.  Rapid COVID testing is reserved for high needs patients as determined through provider evaluation.

    General COVID Testing Criteria:

    COVID laboratory testing takes approximately 1-3 days and is used for patients with the following criteria:

    • People with COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, body aches, new loss of smell or taste, headache, fatigue.
    • No COVID symptoms but qualifies for testing due to exposure or is a nursing home employee.
    • Those exposed, but without symptoms may be tested 5-7 days after exposure, but not earlier. It is important to quarantine for 14 days after exposure regardless of the test result, as COVID may take up to 14 days from exposure to cause infection and/or symptoms.

    Rapid COVID Testing Criteria:

    Rapid tests are reserved for high-need patients, as deemed appropriate by a provider. People who think they need a rapid test must schedule an appointment with a NEW Health provider. During the appointment, the provider will order the test that is most medically appropriate for the patient.

    What is the treatment?

    There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own.

            Home isolation or quarantine in the hospital for severe cases, is always the preferred choice

    Stay informed with these resources:

    The CDC, Washington State Department of Health and Northeast Tri-County Health Department  are updating their information on this virus frequently as this situation continues to rapidly evolve.  Visit the sites below for the latest information and alerts.

    In addition:

    The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

    Updated 11-20-2020