Lewis County Public Health & Social Services (LCPHSS) announced Wednesday afternoon — after The Chronicle’s press deadline for the Thursday edition — that three more county residents had tested positive for COVID-19.
One patient is in their 30s, one is in their 50s, and the third is in their 80s. All are undergoing medical care, and contact investigations have been to identify others who may have been exposed.
This brings Lewis County's confirmed cases to a total of five. No deaths have been reported in the county.
Officials noted they are prevented by law from divulging personal information about the people who have tested positive.
“One of the greatest risks with COVID-19 is the fact that people can pass it to one another before they even know they are sick,” according to LCPHSS Deputy Director and Epidemiologist John Abplanalp.
Before any symptoms start, he said, nobody knows if they are infectious, or if anyone around them is infectious.
“That is why social distancing is so important. It doesn’t let people get close enough to each other to pass the disease, even when they don’t feel sick,” Abplanalp said.
Residents are also encouraged to self-quarantine if they feel ill with any cough, fever or problems breathing.
Abplanalp said that without social distancing and self-quarantine, a person can unwittingly spread the coronavirus to friends, co-workers, and loved ones for up to two weeks.
“Let’s say someone becomes infectious, but has no symptoms for a couple of days. They can spread the disease during that time. Then, they start feeling kind of sick for a few days, then they get sick enough to meet criteria for testing. Test results can take up to 5 days to confirm they have COVID-19. That’s up to two weeks where that individual could be infecting others,” Abplanalp warned.
Information about coronavirus is also available at doh.wa.gov.