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Common Questions

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our community and worldwide continue to grow, it’s important to understand the next steps you should take if you, your family or your friends begin experiencing symptoms.

Please note, the following information is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines.


For current information about COVID-19 and recommendations for keeping yourself and your family healthy, we recommend these resources:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Washington State Department of Health
Seattle & King County Public Health
Snohomish Health District

If you have questions, please call the Washington State Department of Health at 1.800.525.0127

If you have overseas travel plans, we encourage you to visit the CDC travel site.

Our 24-Hour Nurse Navigator – Healthline is a free service available any time of day and night. Our consulting nurse service provides home care information, and can help determine if urgent care or emergency care are called for. Call 425.899.3555 with specific questions about COVID-19.

Per the CDC 

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

COVID-19 in our community is an evolving and ever-changing landscape. For the most up-to-date risk information regarding the risk assessment for contracting COVID-19, visit the CDC.

I don’t know if I’ve been exposed to COVID-19, but I am experiencing symptoms. What should I do?
As always, it is important to remain vigilant in recognizing any significant symptoms—particularly for those with heightened risk, including:

  • Seniors
  • Individuals with pre-existing health conditions
  • Those who are immunocompromised

If you are:
Experiencing mild-general symptoms consistent with a cold or the flu:

  • Stay home
  • Care for yourself as you normally would for a cold or the flu

Experiencing persistent fever, shortness of breath, or a worsening cough, contact your physician by phone. If you do not have a primary care physician, call EvergreenHealth’s 24-hour Nurse Navigator - Healthline to speak with a registered nurse at 425.899.3555.

Experiencing significant symptoms, go to the emergency room.

Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

  • If you are experiencing symptoms and feel severe illness, the best place to receive care is the Emergency Department.
  • Other alternatives include the Urgent Care or your Primary Care Provider’s office.
  • By visiting any of these locations, you become an EvergreenHealth patient.

What will happen at the Emergency Department?

  • Upon arrival to the emergency department, staff will provide you care and assess your symptoms to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.
  • If they determine it is appropriate to perform testing, they will obtain the specimen in the emergency department (by swabbing your nose and throat). They will send the specimen to a lab for processing.
  • If your symptoms are not severe enough to require your admission as a patient to the hospital, you will be asked to return home to provide self-care and quarantine until your results are completed.
  • A provider or nurse will call you regarding your test results (whether positive or negative) once they are received. This may take up to five (5) days, depending upon lab processing times.

What will happen at the Urgent Care or Primary Care office?

  • Upon arrival at the Urgent Care or your Primary Care Provider’s office, staff will provide you care and assess your symptoms to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.
  • If upon assessment the provider and staff determine it is appropriate to perform testing, they will order a test and give you information to return home to provide self-care and quarantine until your results are complete. We will call you to schedule your testing appointment within 24 hours in our EvergreenHealth Drive-Through Care. When you are called to schedule your appointment, you will be provided with instructions for the testing procedure.
  • A provider or a nurse will call you regarding your test results (whether positive or negative) once they are received. This may take up to five (5) days following your test appointment, depending upon lab processing times.

In summary, what do I do if I am interested in testing for COVID-19?

  • If you have severe illness: go to the emergency department. You may also visit an urgent care or your primary care provider’s office.
  • You will be evaluated for symptoms to determine if testing is appropriate.
  • If you do not require a test as determined by the provider, you will be asked to return home to provide self-care until you are well or your symptoms worsen.
  • At the urgent care or primary care office, if the provider determines you do require a test, you will be called to schedule to come to our drive through care to obtain your test specimen.
  • If you are tested, you will be called with your results. This may take up to five (5) days following your test, depending upon lab processing times.
  • At any point of care, if your symptoms worsen, you should visit the emergency department.

As with all clinical testing and screening, EvergreenHealth follows evidence-based protocol and guidelines to ensure all patient testing is medically necessary both as a responsible healthcare provider, and partner to our patients.

COVID-19 testing is based on each individual patient’s medical history and symptoms. Your provider will work with you to determine if a COVID-19 test is in the best interest of your health.

  • If you have severe illness: go to the emergency department. You may also visit an urgent care or your primary care provider’s office.
  • You will be evaluated for symptoms to determine if testing is appropriate.
  • If you do not require a test as determined by the provider, you will be asked to return home to provide self-care until you are well or your symptoms worsen.
  • At the urgent care or primary care office, if the provider determines you do require a test, you will be called to schedule to come to our drive through care to obtain your test specimen.
  • If you are tested, you will be called with your results. This may take up to five (5) days following your test, depending upon lab processing times.
  • At any point of care, if your symptoms worsen, you should visit the emergency department.

In general, people at high risk for complications from COVID-19 are:

  • People 60 years of age and older
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • People with weakened immune systems

Early information shows that older adults as well as those with existing chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, or compromised immunity should take extra precautions in remaining vigilant of symptoms and taking preventative measures.

Individuals in the higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 can prepare and take precautions including these recommendations.

The same good health habits that prevent other viruses, like the flu, also prevent the spread of COVID-19. They also decrease the risk of getting sick, which would make you more susceptible to COVID-19.

These include:

  • Stay home when you are sick (fever, cough, cold).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. If your hands are visibly dirty, always wash them with soap and water.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into your arm. If you use a tissue, discard the tissue in the trash.
    Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (door handles, light switches) and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.

Common Questions – EvergreenHealth


The likelihood of exposure from visiting the Kirkland campus for an appointment or to see a patient is a similar risk of exposure we experience every cold and flu season in our communities.

As always, it is important to remain vigilant in recognizing any symptoms and seek care immediately if symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are present. Please visit www.cdc.gov to learn more about symptoms and when to seek care.

At this time, appointments will continue as scheduled. Should there be any changes to your appointment or a different recommendation from your physician, we will notify you as soon as possible.

If you’re in need of canceling an appointment, please contact your physician’s office directly.

If you’re experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please stay home, limit your exposure to other people and monitor symptoms. If symptoms progress, please call 425.899.3555 before visiting EvergreenHealth.

  • Our leaders and infection control experts are closely monitoring the guidelines and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with those published by regional and local health authorities, which continue to adjust to ongoing learnings about this virus and precautions to keep our community well. The latest recommendation from the CDC has asked that we limit “unnecessary healthcare visits” throughout Seattle-area health systems. Following this guidance, we have made a careful decision to suspend all planned elective surgical procedures at EvergreenHealth beginning Saturday, March 14 for the next 30 days.
  • Urgent and emergent surgeries will remain unchanged and uninterrupted such as appendectomies, broken bones, etc., and we continue to provide critical surgical care for our community.
  • Our physicians, infection control experts and leaders are evaluating to the extent that other appointments may be postponed, as needed. If you have questions about your specific appointment, please contact your physician’s office directly.

We continue to care for our patients with the highest safety and quality standards, guided by the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While COVID-19 is new to our community, caring for patients with serious illnesses is not new. Every day, EvergreenHealth routinely cares for patients with complex illnesses, including infectious diseases, while protecting the health of our other patients.

Patients with serious infections are isolated and cared for in appropriate spaces by trained staff using specialized protective equipment. We follow best practice and strict safety and quality guidelines. We are equipped and prepared to care for these patients while protecting the health of others – including our laboring mothers, babies and families, and our staff.

With an abundance of caution and as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in all three settings – clinics, maternity center and NICU – we verbally screen, upon arrival, all patients, family members and visitors for symptoms, protecting all our babies, from gestation through birth and aftercare.

Symptom Screening Questions:

  1. Do you have a temperature of 100.0 F (37.8 C) or above?
  2. Do you or a close family member have any of these symptoms? Cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or diarrhea?

If the answer is “yes” to any of the symptom screening questions above, we ask people to immediately don a mask and then take them directly to their destination and close the door.

In order to continue to ensure the safest environment for all of our moms and babies, in conjunction with other health care providers in the community, EvergreenHealth is limiting the number of maternity support people to two adults per patient for clinic visits as well as labor, delivery and the duration of their hospital stay. These limitations apply to NICU and Pediatrics, too. We ask that these two adults remain consistent for the patient’s entire stay.

Twice each shift, we are screening hospital employees who come into contact with patients – including doctors, nurses, food services, environmental services and others.

This screening includes:

  1. Do you have a temperature 100.0 F (37.8 C) or above? Documenting what the temperature is.
  2. Do you or a close family member have any of these symptoms? Cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or diarrhea?

If the answer is “yes” to any of the symptom screening questions above, the staff member will immediately notify the manager, who will further evaluate their condition.

We’ve reduced group exposure for even greater safety. We’re reserving a room just for you and your baby, and are asking all our moms to labor and celebrate as much as possible in their own room.

Please plan to share baby with family and friends after you go home. All tours of the FMC have been canceled in favor of our virtual tour.

Even our staff and community meetings have changed a bit – continuing to collaborate and maintain the team birth approach, but mostly managed virtually – so our staff can spend more time with you and further reduce group contact with you and your family.

We are here to answer all of your questions:

  • If you have questions and/or concerns about your pregnancy, upcoming appointments or impending delivery, please contact your OB/GYN clinic or midwife provider directly.
  • If you have questions and/or concerns about your upcoming delivery in our Family Maternity Center, please contact us at 425.899.3501.

At this time, we continue to welcome visitors. However, if you have a fever or a cough, please return home and visit us when you are well. Children and those with existing health conditions or compromised immunity should take extra caution and consideration for visiting any areas in the community linked to confirmed cases of COVID-19.

As always, it is important to remain vigilant in recognizing any symptoms and seeking care when appropriate. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to learn more about symptoms and when to seek care.

Classes scheduled at EvergreenHealth are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If a class is canceled, attendees will be contacted directly to confirm.

EvergreenHealth’s Infection Control team continues to actively monitor the COVID-19 situation worldwide and at home. Our focus, always, is on illness prevention, and that remains at the core of our response to this and all health risks.