COVID-19 Community Screening Site Updates and Information

Apr 27, 2020

UPDATED May 29 – New COVID-19 Community Screening Site hours and final day of operation announced - Learn More




April 29, 2020

UPDATE: Drive-Through COVID-19 Screening Site Will Remain Open with Washington National Guard Support


Inland COVID-19 Response Emergency Coordination Center | ECCPIO@spokanecounty.org

The drive-through Community COVID-19 Screening Site, at Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, will remain open for COVID-19 screening and testing beyond its previously scheduled April 30 closing date. Washington National Guard are providing staff support to maintain clinic operations. During the staffing transition, the Community COVID-19 Screening Site will temporarily close on Friday and Saturday, May 1-2. Operations will resume Monday, May 4 and business hours will be Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., closed on weekends.

In addition, select CHAS, Providence, MultiCare (Rockwood & Indigo), Unify, Native Project, Kaiser Permanente and Franklin Park Urgent Care clinics will offer COVID-19 screening and testing throughout Spokane County starting Friday, May 1. Having a variety of COVID-19 screening and testing locations will provide individuals more convenient access to these services throughout the county. A map of COVID-19 screening locations will be available soon. The map will also include sites for people without insurance or who do not have a regular health care provider.  

The Community COVID-19 Screening Site was set up at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center to support health care partners and give them time to develop screening protocols, within their own clinic systems, to protect the public and their staff. Now that their screening and testing capabilities are ready, individuals may access these services by calling their regular health care provider to determine next steps. The Fairgrounds site will remain open, on a week-by-week basis, depending on community testing needs and utilization of services.

For more information about the screening site, visit the COVID-19 Drive-Through Screening Clinic page.




April 27, 2020

UPDATE: Community COVID-19 Screening will Transition from the Fairgrounds to Health Care Clinics Throughout the County.

The Community COVID-19 Screening Site was set up at the Spokane County Fairgrounds to support health care partners and give them time to develop screening protocols within their own clinic systems. Now that their screening and testing capabilities are ready, the Fairgrounds site’s last day of operation will be April 30. COVID-19 screening and testing at Providence, MultiCare and CHAS clinics for all individuals will begin on May 1. Transitioning COVID-19 screening and testing to health care clinics will provide more convenient access throughout the county. A map of clinic COVID-19 screening locations for each of the health care systems will be available soon. The map will also include sites for people without insurance or a regular health care provider.

For more information about the screening site, visit the COVID-19 Drive-Through Screening Clinic page.



April 8, 2020

UPDATE: COVID-19 Screening Site Hours have changed. Visit the COVID-19 Drive-Through Screening Clinic page for more information.

Drive-through screening clinic hours
Mon. - Fri. | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sat. | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Closed on Sundays*

*The drive-through screening clinic will be closed Sunday, April 12 and every Sunday going forward due to low attendance on Sundays. With the high demand for our medical staff in hospitals and clinics, it’s vital that their time and expertise is applied where it’s needed most.



March 21, 2020

Spokane Regional Health District: Kelli Hawkins 509.324.1539 | khawkins@srhd.org 


Spokane, Wash. - Health care providers at the screening center have loosened the screening parameters. People experiencing symptoms should speak to a health care provider via phone or virtual visit. If that health care provider feels a further screening is warranted, people with a fever AND a cough or shortness of breath who fall into a high-risk category should visit the screening site to determine if a test is warranted.  

High risk categories include: 

  • People over 60 years old
  • Those who have an underlying medical condition
  • Health care workers and/or first responders who have cared for someone who may have the virus 

The drive-through screening at the Spokane Fairgrounds is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days a week until further notice, based on resources.  

Health officials advise if you do not fall into one of the high-risk categories, and are sick with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, you are urged to take steps to care for yourself and those around you by:

  • Staying home
  • Resting, eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated
  • Protecting others in your household by Isolating yourself, washing your hands often, using good cough & sneeze etiquette, and cleaning high-touch surfaces in your home 

The Spokane medical community, and other partners came together to help ease some of the increased patient volume hospitals and clinics are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic by setting up a drive-through screening site at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds. Health care professionals from CHAS, Kaiser Permanente, MultiCare and Providence are screening for signs and symptoms of possible COVID-19 exposure and, if warranted, provide testing for the virus. The Spokane region, along with the rest of the country, is experiencing a limited number of testing supplies so following current protocol, only those meeting testing criteria will be given a test.  

About Spokane Regional Health District

The Spokane Regional Health District is a leader and partner in public health by protecting, improving and promoting the health and well-being of all people through evidence-based practices. SRHD is one of 34 local public health agencies serving Washington state’s 39 counties. Visit www.srhd.org for comprehensive, updated information about the SRHD and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Like SRHD on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive safety and wellness tips.


Spokane County Health Officer Order Limits Play Structure Use During COVID-19

March 20, 2020

Spokane Regional Health District: Kelli Hawkins 509.324.1539 | khawkins@srhd.org  


Spokane, Wash - Today, the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) issued an order for the closure of all play structures. This follows the Washington statewide emergency proclamation signed by Governor Inslee on March 16, temporarily shutting down restaurants, bars, recreational and entertainment facilities until at least March 31.

“Our joint focus remains on supporting the health and well-being of our community,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County Health Officer with SRHD. “Our goal continues to be slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the Spokane region.”

The order includes the closure of all play structures including equipment for use by children ages six months through 12 years in playground areas and equipment for all ages such as outdoor workout activity stations, of:

  • Commercial (non-residential) child care facilities
  • Institutions
  • Multiple family dwellings, such as apartment and condominium buildings
  • Parks, such as city, state, and community (e.g. HOA) maintained parks
  • Restaurants
  • Resorts and recreational developments
  • Schools
  • Other areas of public use 

The order does not include the following:

  • Tennis / Pickleball Courts
  • Skate Parks
  • Golf Courses
  • Trails
  • Sports fields
  • Open Space / Natural Areas
  • Parks (grass areas, walking paths)
  • ORV Parks
  • Benches and picnic tables
  • Spray Pads and other interactive spray and water features / equipment within an aquatic facility pool.

“It is important that you and your families stay healthy by getting outdoors, playing and using the green space our parks provide,” explained Dr. Lutz. “We do need to continue to take the steps necessary by practicing social distancing and limiting our exposure to public places where the virus can be transmitted, and that includes play structures and equipment.”

Under the current order, green space, parks, trails and natural areas remain open for public use at this time.

Health officials urge the public to follow the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines on how to stop the spread of germs when choosing to use these recreational spaces. Maintain at least six feet of social distance, and use them with 10 or fewer people. Use hand sanitizer/wash your hands before and after use of public spaces. Avoid using these spaces if you’re sick or have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who is.

Spokane County Parks Director Doug Chase further emphasized the value of parks and outdoor spaces in Spokane County, “We live here, because we love the natural beauty and recreation that Spokane provides. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to disinfect, multiple times per day, all handrails, dog waste stations, and restrooms across our County.”

Please follow the CDC guidelines when using these recreational spaces, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Park officials say some restrooms may be closed, and ask for the community’s understanding at this time.

County and city park officials explained that they explored placing hand sanitizing stations at recreational locations. However, with the high demand on cleaning and sanitation resources, they wanted to ensure the highest and best use of those products is available for health care and vulnerable populations.

View the National Recreation and Park Association statement on using parks and open space while maintaining social distancing.

The public is asked to remain home if they are sick or experiencing symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone experiencing symptoms.


COVID-19 confirmed in Spokane County residents

The risk of COVID-19 in Eastern Wash. is increasing. Take steps to protect yourself and people around you from the disease.

March 14, 2020

Spokane Regional Health District: Kelli Hawkins 509.324.1539 | khawkins@srhd.org  


A press conference will be held at Spokane Regional Health District’s auditorium today at noon. Dr. Bob Lutz will be available to address questions related to COVID-19 and Spokane County’s current status.  

Spokane, Wash.— Today, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed three cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Spokane County residents. Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) identified and contacted all those who may have come in contact with the infected individuals. They will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

“As our team of experts works with community partners to learn more about these instances, our first priority remains public safety,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County Health Officer with SRHD. “The important thing we need to do now is take the recommended measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 through personal and community preparedness measures. As this situation evolves, we will continue to communicate with DOH and the public.”  

Further details about the individuals will be shared at the press conference. 

“We are coordinating with partner agencies to monitor for the disease in the county and are meeting regularly with our government officials and community leaders to provide guidance and make decisions while ensuring public health is the foremost consideration,” Dr. Lutz said.  

Public health is identifying more positive cases of the disease in the state. These new cases confirm the disease is spreading in eastern Washington. As testing increases, we expect to find more positive cases. People most at risk have underlying health conditions, are over the age of 60, traveled internationally to a high-risk country, were in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and/or have symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you think you are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 or have symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19, call ahead before you go to your healthcare provider, urgent care, or the emergency department. You can also call your health insurance’s nurse hotline or triage; the number can be found on their website or on the back of your insurance card.  

“We are encouraging people to take seriously the actions we’ve shared to keep themselves and the people around them healthy, but we also need to remain calm,” Dr. Lutz said. “We need to breathe… but not on each other, and if a surface is often touched, it’s often cleaned.”  

DOH has provided the following guidance to help people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, are concerned that they were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or who have tested positive themselves:  

  1. What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  2. What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  3. What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19  

SRHD continues to encourage people to take the following steps to stay healthy:  

  • Stay home when you are sick. Staying home when ill prevents the spread of infections to others.
  • Use good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene in all community settings, including homes, childcare facilities, schools, workplaces and other places where people gather. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and put the used tissue in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60-95% alcohol) if you can’t wash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Germs often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • Have contingency plans for your family in the case of school closures. Ask your employer about working from home, not only to prepare for school closures, but also to prevent possible exposure.
  • Support each other, regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality, and including individuals who have become ill. Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick.
  • Do you have travel plans? Take time to read the CDC’s guidance on travel (available on SRHD.org) to see how your plans may be affected.

A press conference will be held at SRHD’s auditorium today at noon. Dr. Lutz will be available to address questions related to COVID-19 and Spokane County’s current status.

About Spokane Regional Health District

The Spokane Regional Health District is a leader and partner in public health by protecting, improving and promoting the health and well-being of all people through evidence-based practices. SRHD is one of 34 local public health agencies serving Washington state’s 39 counties. Visit www.srhd.org for comprehensive, updated information about the SRHD and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Like SRHD on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive safety and wellness tips.

Learn more about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Spokane County COVID-19 PUI Update

March 6, 2020

Spokane Regional Health District: Kelli Hawkins 509.324.1539 | khawkins@srhd.org  


Spokane, Wash. – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) is reporting that two people are under investigation (PUI) for the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  

The individuals are two new cases and remain in isolation pending the results of their COVID-19 testing, which is being performed at the Washington State Public Health Lab. People who were potentially in contact with the PUIs were notified by SRHD.  

SRHD officials announced that they will not have regular updates on the results or number of PUIs going forward due to the changes in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for the testing of COVID-19.  

“With the loosening of CDC restrictions on COVID-19 testing, providers are now able to use their own judgement to request testing for people who have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, and we will no longer be informed of every case under investigation,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County Health Officer at SRHD.  

Dr. Lutz further explained that SRHD will be notified of all positive results for Spokane County. Those results will be reported daily on the health district’s website at srhd.org.  

If people are experiencing symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, the health district advises people to call their health provider or their health insurance’s nurse hotline or triage before visiting an emergency room or urgent care facility. Based on the conversation, the provider will give further direction.  

Washington State Department of Health have provided the following guidance to help people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, are concerned that they were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or who have tested positive themselves:  

  1. What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  2. What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  3. What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 

Currently, Spokane County has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. SRHD continues to encourage people to take the following steps to stay healthy:  

  • Stay home when you are sick. Staying home when ill prevents the spread of infections to others.
  • Use good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene in all community settings, including homes, childcare facilities, schools, workplaces and other places where people gather. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and put the used tissue in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60-95% alcohol) if you can’t wash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Germs often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • Have contingency plans for your family in the case of school closures. Ask your employer about working from home, not only to prepare for school closures, but also to prevent possible exposure.
  • Support each other, regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality, and including individuals who have become ill. Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick.
  • Do you have travel plans? Take time to read the CDC’s guidance on travel (available on SRHD.org) to see how your plans may be affected.
  • More information on prevention and treatment of COVID-19 can be found on SRHD.org, the DOH website, and the CDC website. For additional information, please contact the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Learn more about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Spokane County PUI Tests Negative for COVID-19

March 5, 2020

Spokane Regional Health District: Kelli Hawkins 509.324.1539 | khawkins@srhd.org  


Spokane, Wash. – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) learned this evening that a person under investigation (PUI) for the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tested negative.  

The individual, with a connection to Gonzaga University, was in self-isolation pending the test results.

A person under investigation (PUI), is someone experiencing symptoms similar to COVID-19 and has either traveled to high-risk countries or has been in contact with someone who has been confirmed positive for COVID-19. Because of these factors, SRHD was notified and made the determination based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines to have the individual tested at the Washington Public Health Lab. 

Currently, Spokane County has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

At this time, Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County Health Officer said the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Spokane County remains low, but encourages steps for personal preparedness: 

  • Stay home when you are sick. Staying home when ill prevents the spread of infections to others.
  • Use good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene in all community settings, including homes, childcare facilities, schools, workplaces and other places where people gather. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and put the used tissue in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60-95% alcohol) if you can’t wash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Germs often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • Have contingency plans for your family in the case of school closures. Ask your employer about working from home, not only to prepare for school closures, but also to prevent possible exposure.
  • Do you have travel plans? Take time to read the CDC’s guidance on travel (available on SRHD.org) to see how your plans may be affected.

More information on prevention and treatment of COVID-19 can be found on SRHD.org, the DOH website, and the CDC website. For additional information, please contact the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Learn more about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Statement on patient release from Sacred Heart

March 1, 2020

Contact: Lisa Stromme Warren, Washington State Department of Health, 253.512.710

"Two people from Washington state treated for COVID-19 at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane have been discharged and are now resting at home. 

The Washington State Department of Health would like to express its appreciation for the good work done by the staff at Sacred Heart Medical Center who cared for these individuals.   

Out of respect for patient privacy, we will not be releasing any further information at this time."

Learn more about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Four Patients Testing Positive for Novel Coronavirus Remain in Satisfactory Condition at Sacred Heart

Feb. 24, 2020

Spokane Regional Health District: Kelli Hawkins 509.324.1539 | khawkins@srhd.org  

Providence Health Care: Jennifer Semenza 509.474.3081 | Jennifer.Semenza@providence.org  

Washington State Department of Health: Public Information Officer 253.512.7100 | doh-pio@doh.wa.gov


Spokane, Wash - Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center continues to care for four patients who tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and they remain in satisfactory condition. Sacred Heart continues to operate normally with all planned procedures happening as scheduled.

Health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. Similar to other respiratory illnesses like influenza, coronavirses generally spread from an infected person to others though these methods:

  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact (within about six feet), 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 

There are steps 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.
  • 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.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.  

More information on prevention and treatment of COVID-19 can be found on SRHD.org, the DOH website, and the CDC website. For additional information, please contact the Washington State Department of Health at 1.800.525.0127 and press #.

Learn more about novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Four Patients Testing Positive for Novel Coronavirus Securely Transferred to Sacred Heart

Feb. 21, 2020

Spokane Regional Health District: Kelli Hawkins 509.324.1539 | khawkins@srhd.org  

Providence Health Care: Jennifer Semenza 509.474.3081 | Jennifer.Semenza@providence.org  

Washington State Department of Health: Public Information Officer 253.512.7100 | doh-pio@doh.wa.gov


“The residents of Spokane County are safe,” said County Health Officer

Spokane, Wash. – In a joint press conference yesterday, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) explained how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has asked Sacred Heart to monitor and care for four individuals who have tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Sacred Heart is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and SRHD to care for these patients while they are under isolation.  

The patients were flown into Spokane International Airport yesterday from Travis Airforce Base in Sacramento, Calif. as part of HHS’ and the Department of State-led repatriation program for U.S. citizens traveling back to the U.S. from Japan and had been on the Diamond Princess. Local partners including American Medical Response, the U.S. Marshals, the Spokane Police & Fire Departments, and emergency medical teams then worked together to safely transport these individuals to Sacred Heart.  

Sacred Heart was selected because of its secured specialized treatment center that includes 10 airborne infection isolation rooms, located apart from general patient treatment areas. Sacred Heart is one of 10 hospitals in the country with this specialized treatment center.  

Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County Health Officer with SRHD, emphasized that the process of transporting patients with infectious diseases has been well practiced between local partner agencies.  

“Because of the well-practiced process, this is a controlled situation. The residents of Spokane County are safe,” Lutz said. “This is all being done following our jointly developed infectious disease protocols that include continuous training.”  

Peg Currie, Chief Executive of Providence Sacred Heart, described how safety and security remains a priority during the well-practiced processes and procedures used at the hospital, including with the specialized treatment center.  

“We prepare and train regularly to treat and care for people,” Currie said. “We have one of the most advanced, highly-specialized hospitals in the country. Individuals from our Spokane community and across the region come to us every day needing specialized care. It is what we do.”  

Currie further explained that the hospital is operating normally with all planned procedures happening as scheduled.  

“Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center has accepted and embraced the opportunity to care for some of the most vulnerable people in our country right now. As you know, we were asked by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to care for four patients with confirmed novel coronavirus. All have arrived and are in satisfactory condition in isolation rooms within the specialized treatment center, monitored by our specially trained caregivers,” said Currie.  

Lutz said health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. Similar to other respiratory illnesses like influenza, coronaviruses generally spread from an infected person to others though these methods:

  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact (within about six feet), 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 

“In general, the risk to the public from novel coronavirus remains low,” Lutz said.  

More information on prevention and treatment of COVID-19 can be found on SRHD.org, the DOH website, and the CDC website. For additional information, please contact the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127 and press #.   

About Spokane Regional Health District

The Spokane Regional Health District is a leader and partner in public health by protecting, improving and promoting the health and well-being of all people through evidence-based practices. SRHD is one of 34 local public health agencies serving Washington state’s 39 counties. Visit www.srhd.org for comprehensive, updated information about the SRHD and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Like SRHD on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive safety and wellness tips.  

About Providence Health Care

Providence Health Care is the eastern Washington service area of Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves – especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. In eastern Washington, the Providence Health Care network of services includes Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital – all nationally recognized for quality care, as well as two critical access hospitals in Colville and Chewelah. It also includes a full continuum of services – Providence Medical Park in Spokane Valley (a comprehensive multi-specialty center), three urgent care centers, home health, assisted living, adult day health and skilled nursing care. Providence Medical Group of eastern Washington includes more than 850 physicians and advanced practitioners. Its medical staff includes primary care providers, surgical subspecialists and medical specialists. For more information, visit www.phc.org.  

Washington State Department of Health The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection

Learn more about novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Joint Statement: Five Patients Testing Positive for Novel Coronavirus to be Transferred to Sacred Heart

Feb. 19, 2020

Spokane Regional Health District: Kelli Hawkins 509.324.1539 | khawkins@srhd.org  

Providence Health Care: Jennifer Semenza, 509.474.3081 | Jennifer.Semenza@providence.org  

Washington State Department of Health: Public Information Office 253.512.7100 | doh-pio@doh.wa.gov


A joint statement from Spokane Regional Health District, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, and the Washington State Department of Health

Spokane, Wash. - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has asked Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center to monitor and care for five individuals who have tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Providence will work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) to care for these patients while they are under isolation. The exact timeline for the patient transfer is not yet known, but it is expected to occur within the next 1-2 days.  

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center was selected because of its secured airborne infection isolation rooms, a specialized unit within the hospital. Providence is one of 10 hospitals in the country with this specialized treatment center. Regular hospital operations will not be impacted.  

Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County Health Officer with SRHD, explained the process of transporting patients with infectious diseases has been well practiced between local partner agencies.  

“We are coordinating with local partners to safely transport these patients to Sacred Heart,” Lutz said. “This is all being done following our jointly developed infectious disease protocols that we train and prepare for. The risk to the public from this novel coronavirus remains low.” 

More information on prevention and treatment of COVID-19 can be found on SRHD.org, the DOH website, and the CDC website. For additional information, please contact the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Media Interview Availability

Thursday, Feb. 20 – 1 p.m.

Sacred Heart Medical Center – Providence Auditorium, 20 W. 9th Ave. Spokane

Representatives from SRHD and Providence will be available to answer your questions.  

About Spokane Regional Health District The Spokane Regional Health District is a leader and partner in public health by protecting, improving and promoting the health and well-being of all people through evidence-based practices. SRHD is one of 34 local public health agencies serving Washington state’s 39 counties. Visit www.srhd.org for comprehensive, updated information about the SRHD and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Like SRHD on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive safety and wellness tips.  

About Providence Health Care Providence Health Care is the eastern Washington service area of Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves – especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. In eastern Washington, the Providence Health Care network of services includes Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital – all nationally recognized for quality care, as well as two critical access hospitals in Colville and Chewelah. It also includes a full continuum of services – Providence Medical Park in Spokane Valley (a comprehensive multi-specialty center), three urgent care centers, home health, assisted living, adult day health and skilled nursing care. Providence Medical Group of eastern Washington includes more than 850 physicians and advanced practitioners. Its medical staff includes primary care providers, surgical subspecialists and medical specialists. For more information, visit www.phc.org.  

Washington State Department of Health The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection.  

Learn more about novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Update on response to 2019 novel coronavirus in Washington state

Jan. 22, 2020

Contact: Lisa Stromme Warren, Washington State Department of Health, 503.545.2070 Heather Thomas, Snohomish Health District, 425.508.4980

OLYMPIA – Since announcing a case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Snohomish County, Wash., the state Department of Health (DOH) and Snohomish Health District have been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on interviewing the patient and beginning a contact investigation. This includes establishing a detailed travel history with the patient and identifying close contacts who may have experienced some level of exposure.

Health officials are actively monitoring these contacts, which means a public health worker will call each person daily to check for symptoms like fever or respiratory issues. Should one of these close contacts develop symptoms, they will be instructed to immediately contact the public health worker, who will help arrange a medical evaluation.

“As of now, we have identified at least 16 close contacts. Local public health staff started reaching out to them yesterday and continue to do so today,” said Snohomish County Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters. “The risk to the general public remains low. If there is a location where we are concerned about potential transmission, and where public health cannot contact those individuals directly, that information will be released quickly."

Coronaviruses are primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally have to be within six feet of someone who is contagious and have droplets land on them. This is very different from airborne diseases like measles, so the public health response is very different.

As we learn more about 2019 novel coronavirus, we will better understand when people become contagious, but other coronaviruses are not contagious when the person does not have symptoms. The patient did not report any symptoms during his flight or at the airport. But out of an abundance of caution, the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine is working with the airlines and state health departments to ensure appropriate passenger notification.

“This may be a novel virus, but it is not a novel investigation,” said Secretary John Wiesman. “Public health staff participate in these types of investigations all the time and are well trained to have these conversations.”

Advice to the general public is the same as every cold and flu season. Wash your hands regularly and if you’re sneezing and coughing, stay home. If you’ve traveled from Wuhan City, China into the U.S. and you have symptoms, seek advice from your health care provider. If you don’t have a health provider, reach out to your health department. At this time people should go about their usual routines and activities.

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

The Snohomish Health District, with support from our Medical Reserve Corps and Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management, have also activated a call center. Snohomish County residents and visitors with questions can call 425-388-5088 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting today. Call volumes will be monitored to determine when that call center will be de-activated.

More information on 2019 novel coronavirus is available from:

Novel coronavirus information for Healthcare Providers


Case of 2019 novel coronavirus confirmed in Washington state resident

Jan. 21, 2020

Contact: Lisa Stromme Warren, Washington State Department of Health, 503.545.2070 Heather Thomas, Snohomish Health District, 425.508.4980

OLYMPIA – Today the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a case of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in a Snohomish County resident. While the risk to the general public is low, DOH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Snohomish Health District to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the infected traveler. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

“As our team of experts partners with infectious disease specialists locally, nationally and around the globe to learn more about the 2019 novel coronavirus, our first priority remains public safety,” said Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “We believe the risk to the public is low. And as this situation evolves, we will continue to communicate with the CDC, Snohomish County and the public.”

The patient, a man in his 30s, is the first person known to be infected with 2019-nCoV in the United States. He arrived in Snohomish County on January 15 after traveling from Wuhan City, China, where an outbreak of 2019-nCoV has been underway since December 2019. As of the morning of January 21, there were 300 cases worldwide but that number is likely to grow.

The Washington patient developed symptoms and was seen at a clinic in Snohomish County. Specimens were collected and sent to the CDC for testing. The patient is currently being observed at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

“Last night, the Snohomish Health District coordinated with local partners to safely transport the patient to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. This is all being done following our jointly developed infectious disease protocols. No one wants to be the first in the nation in these types of situations, but these are the types of situations that public health and its partners train and prepare for. Because of this, everything has been going along quite smoothly,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer, Snohomish Health District.

The outbreak in Wuhan, China was originally linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak. Human to human spread has been confirmed.  How easily or sustainably this virus is spreading remains unknown.

A multi-agency press conference is happening today at 2 p.m. at the state Public Health Laboratories in Shoreline, where members of the media will be able to ask questions. Participants will include Governor Jay Inslee, Secretary of Health John Wiesman, DOH, CDC, Providence Health, and Snohomish Health District.

A hotline is being set up for members of the public who have questions and when it is activated, we will send out an additional notice to media and distribute on our social media channels.

For more information:

SRHD Novel Coronavirus | COVID-19 page

Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Summary page.