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:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.