509.444.8200 WA | 208.848.8300 ID | 24/7 Nurse Advice Hotline | Telephone Relay Service: 711

Health Alerts | COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Spokane, Eastern Washington & Idaho

CHAS Health is dedicated to the health and wellness of the communities we serve. Recent global events have raised questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to stay healthy. Below are answers to frequently asked questions. If you still have concerns for your health related to the coronavirus, please call us for more information at 509.444.8200 or 208.848.8300.

May 20, 2020: Read The Notice To CHAS Health Patients

Think you have COVID? Text "COVID" to 424.354.4956 You will receive a text with screening questions.

Latest News

CHAS Health Testing for COVID-19

Due to current inventory, we are providing COVID testing for:

  • Individuals who have COVID Symptoms including:
    • Fever
    • 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
  • Individuals who have had close contact with a COVID positive person

Testing at Spokane Area Schools (Jul 7th - Aug 27th)

Screenings will be available on the following dates:

  • July 7 – 9 at Holmes Elementary, 2600 W. Sharp Ave., Spokane, WA 99201
  • July 14 – 16 at Audubon Elementary, 2020 W. Carlisle Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
  • July 21 – 23 at Garfield Elementary, 222 W. Knox Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
  • July 28 – 30 at Willard Elementary, 500 W. Longfellow Ave., Spokane, WA 99205
  • August 4 – 6 at Longfellow Elementary, 800 E. Providence Ave., Spokane, WA 99207
  • August 11 – 13 at Logan Elementary, 1001 E. Montgomery Ave., Spokane, WA 99207
  • August 18 – 20 at Bemiss Elementary, 2323 E. Bridgeport Ave., Spokane, WA 99207
  • August 25 – 27 Sheridan Elementary 3737 E. Fifth St., Spokane, WA 99202

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is (Coronavirus) COVID-19?

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.

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.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms can include runny nose, headache, and sore throat, and rarely digestive problems such as diarrhea or stomach ache.

How can I protect myself from getting the virus?

The most important thing you should do is clean your hands frequently, especially before touching your face or eating. When you wash your hands, use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw tissue away and wash your hands. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces. Stay home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

How can I get tested for the virus?

Currently the local and regional health authorities are determining who should be treated on an individual basis for anyone not hospitalized. This situation is changing quickly, and if you think you may have an infection, you should call your health care provider to find out next steps. Do not walk into a clinic or healthcare facility without calling first.

I Think I might be experiencing coronavirus symptoms. What do I do?

If you have traveled from a high-risk area (currently identified by the CDC as China, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran) or you have symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath and feel you may have been exposed to this virus:

  • Do not go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room
  • Call you doctor if you're experiencing symptoms
  • Washington CHAS Health Patients: 509.444.8200
  • Idaho CHAS Health Patients: 208.848.8300

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.

Should I wear a mask in public?

The CDC recommends that "People wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don't live in your household". Additionally, a Washington State department of health statewide order is currently in effect "directing all individuals to wear a face covering in any indoor public setting or when outdoors and unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others". We ask that any patients who have a fever, cough, sneezing, or runny nose, wear a mask as soon as they get into the lobby.

I returned from international travel in the last few weeks. How do I know if I am developing an illness?

If you returned from a high-risk area in the last 14 days, or believe you could have been exposed, please call us so we can help you decide if you are at risk. You should do this whether you have symptoms or not.

I have travel plans to a high-risk area in the near future. How should I decide whether to go?

Travel recommendations from the CDC can be found at the following link. This is quickly changing so you should recheck frequently:

• CDC Travel Notices

How do I know if there are cases reported in my area?

This information overall and regionally can be found at the following links:

What are Video Visits?

We are encouraging patients to use CHAS Health Video Visits at this time for most appointment types. With Video Visits, you can have a secure appointment with a CHAS Health provider using your mobile device or computer, from anywhere. Video Visits are an innovative approach to meet your healthcare needs in a way that is convenient and comfortable for you. chas.org/services/telehealth

How Might a Visit at CHAS Health be Different right now?

To help minimize spread of COVID-19 in our community, we are encouraging patients to transition from in-person visits to phone or virtual visits when possible. While we do have our pharmacies open, we are encouraging most prescriptions be sent to your home when possible. In an effort to keep patients and staff safe at this time, we are temporarily limiting the dental services we offer. However, we are available to see any dental emergencies.

Outside our clinics, we may temporarily have triage tents, where patients can be pre-screened if they have any coronavirus symptoms. In addition, we have opportunities in our phone cues to help screen for potential COVID-19 symptoms.

What if I don’t have insurance?

Due to the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in our state, Washington Healthplanfinder is offering a limited special enrollment period for qualified people who currently do not have insurance. This runs through April 8, 2020.

In addition, we have Patient Service Coordinators at CHAS Health who can help you navigate options to getting care.

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

In addition, we have Patient Service Coordinators at CHAS Health who can help you navigate options to getting care.

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 increased risk

What is the difference between social distancing, quarantine, and isolation?

Social Distancing

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 3-6 feet from others.

Quarantine in general means separating a person or people who may have a contagious disease, but aren’t showing symptoms yet, from other people who have not been so exposed. This can help prevent more people from getting sick because sometimes a person can pass an illness on to others even before they become sick. With COVID-19, the CDC has recommended a 14-day period to monitor for symptoms.

Isolation refers to separating a person or people who probably or definitely have a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation may be voluntary or compelled by governmental or public health authorities.

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Staff was very helpful and respectful."
-Susan F.