Whitman Wire


What is COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of the virus are fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. 

How serious is COVID-19? Should I be worried? 

Symptoms of COVID-19 are typically mild and begin gradually. Some people who are infected do not develop any symptoms and do not feel sick at all. According to the World Health Organization, about 80% of people recover from the disease without any special treatment. However, 1 in 6 people with COVID-19 become seriously ill and have a hard time breathing. Older people and people with underlying medical problems in particular are much more susceptible to the disease. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention. 

Where should I go if I feel sick?

The Walla Walla County Department of Community Health advises those who are feeling sick to call into their local healthcare facility before going in for care so the facility can engage in efforts to prevent exposing others. For urgent medical needs, the department recommends calling 911. They also suggest calling their COVID-19 hotline at 509-524-2647. Providence St. Mary Medical Center is Walla Walla’s local full service hospital. They are located at 401 W. Poplar St. However, those who are sick should call the hospital at (509) 897-3320 to discuss options before physically going in for care. Providence St. Mary also has an online coronavirus assessment tool to help people assess their risk for coronavirus and connect them with a provider virtually. The tool can be found at this link.

How many people have been impacted by the virus? 

As of April 30, 2020, there have been 3,024,059 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 208,112 confirmed deaths due to the virus, and there are 213 countries, areas or territories with cases, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, there have been 983,457 confirmed cases and 50,492 deaths. In Walla Walla County, there have been 68 confirmed cases and no deaths, according to the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health. 

A lot of information is being spread about COVID-19. Who do I listen to?

To avoid misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to only accept news and updates from trusted sources. Check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) coronavirus page for the most up-to-date information about the virus in the US, and the World Health Organization (WHO) coronavirus page for global information. Also be sure to check your local and state government website for regional mandates and guidelines. 

Should I stock up on essentials or buy more than I need?

The short answer is no. It is important to buy only what you need to feel comfortable, as many elderly and immunocompromised people need access to in-demand resources. Many concerned consumers are buying large quantities of essential items like toilet paper, cleaning supplies and dry foods. It might appear like stores are running out of necessary items, but they will likely restock the next morning. If you are worried about attaining resources, call your local grocery store to find out their shipment and stocking schedule. If you’re in a pinch, reach out to your community; someone will probably have what you need.

Should I be wearing a mask?

The CDC has recently recommended that people wear homemade masks or cloth coverings over their nose and mouth when in public. This does not replace the need to socially distance and stay 6 feet away from others. This recommendation comes from the knowledge that many coronavirus carriers may be asymptomatic. Wearing a mask stops you from spreading the disease to others, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. However, any cloth mask should be washed regularly and the mask-wearer should take care not to touch the outside of their mask, as they would also avoid touching their face.

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