Health officials complete contact tracing for first 11 COVID-19 patients

There are now 12 confirmed cases in Whitman County; individuals with possible exposures were contacted

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SPENCER ECHON | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen reporter

The number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Whitman County rose to 12, according to a press release from the Whitman County Emergency Operations Center. 

The most recent patient is a 40-59 year old female, according to the press release. Health officials are investigating the patient’s status, which is currently unknown. 

There have been at least 326 negative COVID-19 tests as of April 6, according to the Whitman County Health Department website

According to a press release from Whitman County EOC from April 3, the first 11 patients in Whitman County are all stable and self isolating at home. 

Health officials have completed contact tracing for the 11 patients. This means any individuals who may have had contact with patients were later contacted with instructions for self isolation and health monitoring, according to the press release. 

The Washington State Department of Health defines close contact as: 

  • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, OR
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

People who have not had contact with a sick person have a low risk of contracting COVID-19, according to the Department of Health. 

According to the press release, people should still maintain six feet of social distance whenever possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends wearing homemade cloth masks in public, especially in places where social distancing is difficult. 

A video containing instructions for making face coverings can be found on the CDC website