COVID-19 Updates

Use this page as a resource for all things COVID-19 related, and to learn Community Health of Central Washington’s procedures and protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: What is it?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

How is COVID-19 Spread?

  • People who are physically near (within 6 feet) a person with COVID-19 or have direct contact with that person are at greatest risk of infection.
  • When people with COVID-19 cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe they produce respiratory droplets. These droplets can range in size from larger droplets (some of which are visible) to smaller droplets. Small droplets can also form particles when they dry very quickly in the airstream.
  • Infections occur mainly through exposure to respiratory droplets when a person is in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • Respiratory droplets cause infection when they are inhaled or deposited on mucous membranes, such as those that line the inside of the nose and mouth.
  • As the respiratory droplets travel further from the person with COVID-19, the concentration of these droplets decreases. Larger droplets fall out of the air due to gravity. Smaller droplets and particles spread apart in the air.
  • With passing time, the amount of infectious virus in respiratory droplets also decreases.
How is Covid19 spread

CHCW’s Protocols and Procedures in Response to COVID-19 

Below are some common concerns when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are our responses to those concerns, and if you have any additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Designating locations for well visits only

We have implemented car curbside visits for patients with symptoms, obstetrician patients, and we have pharmacy pick up!

Screening patients

Screening questions are asked when scheduling pateints, as well as screening patients at the door with questions, and a temperature check before you enter.

Waiting room changes

We have removed some seating to allow for social distancing, even amongst family members. We are also limiting how many people can come with the patient.

Facial covering policy

You are required to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when entering our clinics.

Plastic barrier

Implemented plastic surface for our check in/check out employees that are wiped down.

Masks for employees

Gave out reusable masks to employees that were made/donated by patients and other groups.

Additional cleaning efforts

UV lights in rooms that were closed down per protocol, revisited with cleaning company and reviewed products they were using.

Telehealth and telephone visits were implemented

You can have a live visit with your Provider in your home via your phone, tablet or computer.

Limiting Visitors

We encourage limiting visitors accompanying patients to those needed to support the patients care. We ask that no one else joins.

Social Distancing and Quarantine: What You Need to Know

Who has to quarantine themselves at home?
There’s a lot of information on who has to quarantine at home and when. It can be confusing, but let’s walk through it:

You have a cough and a fever

  • AND you have had a test and actually been diagnosed with COVID-19, you need to stay home away from people for 7 days or until 72 hours after your fever and symptoms are gone, whichever is longer.
  • AND you have NOT had a COVID-19 test, but you have had close contact with someone who has had a test and been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should isolate yourself at home for 7 days OR until 72 hours after your fever is gone and your symptoms get better, whichever is longer.
  • AND you have NOT been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should stay home away from others until 72 hours after the fever is gone and symptoms get better. You may have COVID-19 or you may have any number of other respiratory diseases circulating in our communities.
social distancing and quarantine_ what you need to know

What is the difference between COVID-19 and the Flu?

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

There are some key differences between flu and COVID-19. COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer.

Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.


Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults



Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed in similarities.

Typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection.


COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses in some people. Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.

Typically, a person develops symptoms 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary.

Why Do You Need a Flu Shot?

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year.

It takes two weeks after your flu shot to achieve full immunity, so steer clear until then of anyone who has flu symptoms.

Yakima County COVID Cases


Kittitas County COVID Cases

Helpful Information.

Use the links to the left to view live COVID cases in Yakima and Kittitas Counties. 

Note: Death data differs between DOH and YHD. YHD reports anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 AND died due to complications related to COVID-19. DOH reports anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 and died. 

How To Deal With The Isolation

We created helpful tips and videos to help your family, and yourself, deal with the isolation of staying home to stay safe.