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.

At a news conference on Saturday, Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County Health Officer with SRHD said a woman in her 40's tested positive. She is currently displaying symptoms but is feeling OK but not feeling great. The second case is a man in his 50's and the third case has not been contacted yet.

“As our team of experts works with community partners to learn more about these instances, our first priority remains public safety,” said Dr. Lutz, “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.”

“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. Dr. Lutz said.

Dr. Lutz announced that the regional Health District is working with the Emergency Coordination Center, which is overseen by Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, has been organized and will have its first meeting on Monday. 

When asked if any of the cases were from community members at Whitworth, Dr. Lutz said those cases are still pending. He also said the current turnaround time for a test is around 3 days. 

As for the results that have been returned, there have been 70 negative tests and 3 positive results in Spokane County. 

Dr. Lutz emphasized the importance of social distancing, "Social distancing is something we need to be looking at, we need to be practicing." 

He also talked about the importance of going about life normally, but with some changes, "I want people to go about their daily activities acknowledging they are going to have to do their daily activities somewhat differently." He continued, "This does not mean resources it really just means looking at doing things just a little bit differently."