Spokane, Eastern Washington & Idaho
CHAS Health is dedicated to the health and wellness of the communities we serve. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 testing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
COVID-19 is the official name of the disease that is causing this 2019 coronavirus outbreak, first discovered in Wuhan China. The virus likely originated in animals and spread to humans. There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that cause mild, cold-like illnesses. Some coronaviruses can cause illnesses in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels, and bats. This was the case with SARS and MERS. In rare cases, animal coronavirus cases can spread to humans.
What are the COVID-19 symptoms?
COVID symptoms include the following:
- New cough
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
How does COVID-19 spread?
The way this virus is spread is not yet fully understood. However, based on other coronaviruses, it may spread between people by coughing and sneezing into the air, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands, and rarely through stool contamination with the virus present.
I think I might be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. What do I do?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay home and away from other people, including household members (self-isolate), even if you have very mild symptoms. If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have symptoms, you can end home isolation when:
- It’s been at least 24 hours with no fever without using
fever-reducing medication AND
- Your symptoms have improved, AND
- At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared.
What does self-quarantine mean?
You should stay home and away from others. Do not go to work or school, and avoid public places for at least 10–14 days (self-quarantine). Check yourself for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from the last day you believe you were exposed to COVID-19. Please review additional instructions in the testing packet provided to you at the time of your test.
Why can’t someone without symptoms get a rapid test?
We do not use rapid tests on people without symptoms because rapid tests are not as accurate for people without symptoms. Getting this test could give a false sense of security in someone without symptoms.
When should I get tested if I’ve had a known exposure?
Any COVID testing for those with exposure and no symptoms should occur either 5-7 days after initial exposure to a person who tested positive. Exposure can be from 2 days before their symptoms started until 10 days after. If you live with someone who became positive for COVID, you should test 5-7 days after their first symptoms, or after their positive test if they did not have symptoms.
Why is my insurance information being collected? I thought the testing was free?
Insurance information will be collected even though patients receiving tests will not receive a bill. Insurance will be billed, but patients will not have to pay a copay for COVID-related testing. For those patients without insurance, CHAS Health will not bill.
If I test negative after exposure and no symptoms, do I still have to quarantine?
If you have had direct exposure, you need to quarantine for 10-14 days, whether or not you test negative after the exposure. Testing at days 5-7 would help you know whether you had the virus, but would not change the need to quarantine for the full-time period. Those who test positive for COVID without symptoms will need to isolate for 10 days from the time of the positive test or the first day of symptoms. Testing would also tell you whether others in your life may have been exposed.
What treatments are available?
There is not a specific treatment available other than supportive care. This means self-care at home for mild illness, which is what the great majority of people have with the virus. If someone is hospitalized with it, supportive care may mean oxygen support and other more intensive treatments.
Where can I find COVID-19 case information for my area?
What should I know when I visit a CHAS clinic
To help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we are encouraging patients to utilize video or phone visits, when possible, but in-person visits are still available for some services. Video and phone visits that are available include medical, dental, behavioral health, and urgent care.
In-person dental services have resumed normal operation, but if you prefer to be evaluated via a video visit, we can do that too!
Our pharmacies are open, however, we are encouraging most prescriptions to be sent to your home when possible. If you prefer to pick up your prescription, curbside pickup is available. Simply contact your pharmacy to confirm how you would like to pick up your medications.
Upon arriving at any clinic, you will be asked to mask and have your temperature checked prior to entering our lobby. This is to ensure the safety of all patients and employees.
If you are visiting for COVID testing, instructions will be provided prior to entering the clinic lobby. Most intake and testing will be performed in an outdoor portable or in the parking lot, weather permitting.
What can I do to protect myself?
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Which groups are at higher risk?
COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Other high-risk conditions could include:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have heart disease with complications
- People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
- People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
- People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown an increased risk
What is the difference between physical social distancing, quarantine & isolation?
Social distancing is one of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. It can help keep sick people from coming in contact with healthy ones and so limit the number of people who are exposed to, or get sick with a contagious illness. CDC recommendations: Avoid large gatherings and crowds, and maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet or more from others, unless you are with your family/pod group.
Quarantine is what you do if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine means you stay home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case you are infected and are contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if you later test positive for COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Isolation is what you do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means you stay home and away from others (including household members) for the recommended period of time to avoid spreading illness.