COVID-19

Confluence Health staff from left, Nurse Managers Leslie Kees and Jay Bretz, and Dr. Joshua Frank work out the process of using a coronavirus triage tent set up outside the emergency room at Central Washington Hospital on Tuesday.

WENATCHEE — Test results Wednesday night returned the first “presumptive positive” case of COVID-19 in Wenatchee.

The patient, a Quincy resident in their 80s, is isolated in critical condition at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, according to a Thursday press release from the Grant County Health District.

The patient didn't report any recent travel outside of the country, "indicating the illness may have been acquired locally," according to the press release. The specific source is still under investigation.

A sample from the patient was submitted to the University of Washington Monday and came back positive Wednesday evening, Confluence Health CEO Peter Rutherford said Wednesday. The results will now go to the state testing lab to be confirmed.

If confirmed, this would be the first case of COVID-19 in Eastern Washington, according to the release.

Confluence Health submitted samples from an additional two people for testing on Tuesday and two more on Wednesday, Rutherford said. Results from those four people are pending. They haven’t been admitted to Confluence facilities and are at home under self-isolation.

A test from a separate patient at Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake came back negative and quarantines for people exposed to that patient have been lifted, according the Grant County Health District release.

The “presumptive positive” patient in Wenatchee was first admitted to the hospital Saturday, but at the time the person did not meet the state’s requirements for testing, Rutherford said.

After the state loosened testing requirements on travel history Monday, the patient met the criteria for COVID-19 testing and a sample was sent later that day, Rutherford said.

Between Saturday and Monday the patient was in the hospital but not under isolation, Rutherford said.

Confluence Health is working to identify and monitor for symptoms people, including hospital staff members, who may have come into contact with the patient during that time period, he said.

Rutherford said the organization will continue to adapt their policies based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department of Health.

“They’re doing the best they can to give guidance and we’re doing the best we can to implement it,” he said. “... We’re confident that the processes we’ve instituted are adequate to keep staff and community safe.”

A patient at Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth is also being tested.