Cancer Care Northwest & COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
Posted: March 3, 2020
In order to provide our patients helpful information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19, here is some general information as well as details specific to those patients seeking care at Cancer Care Northwest (CCNW).
Because the situation is rapidly evolving, please reference Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or Washington State Department of Health websites for the latest information.
What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person, and in some recent instances in apparent community spread. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, Hebei Province, China, in late 2019 and has now been detected in more than 50 countries.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 has similar symptoms to the flu, which include coughing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is thought to spread in the following ways:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
What if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19 and want testing?
If you already have symptoms of suspected COVID-19 – with or without recent travel to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran – please contact the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) for further instruction and testing. Please note, Cancer Care Northwest does not have influenza or COVID-19 testing kits available.
How do I keep myself and my family safe?
The CDC recommends the below everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- “Social Distancing” - Avoid large gatherings and maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face cover:
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected, even if you do not feel sick.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily using a regular household cleaner.
For the most up-to-date information, please visit the CDC's 'How to Protect Yourself' webpage.