Due to wildfire smoke, heat and rising COVID-19 cases, Island Hospital is asking community members to take extra precautions with their health this weekend. Per the CDC, wildfire smoke can irritate your lungs, cause inflammation, affect your immune system, and make you more prone to lung infections, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Know the difference between symptoms from smoke exposure and COVID-19.

  • Some symptoms, like dry cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing can be caused by both wildfire smoke exposure and COVID-19.
  • Symptoms like fever or chills, muscle or body aches, and diarrhea are not related to smoke exposure. If you have any of these symptoms, the CDC COVID-19 Self-Checker can help you determine whether you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. If you have questions after using the CDC COVID-19 Self-Checker,  contact a healthcare provider.
  • If you have severe symptoms, like difficulty breathing or chest pain, immediately call 911 or the nearest emergency facility.

This information as well as details on how to create a cleaner air space at home can be found on the CDC website or by following this link:


As with every hospital in our region, Island Hospital’s Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and Walk-in Clinic have seen extremely high volumes of COVID-19 patients and are operating over capacity in many departments. We are urging community members to please wear masks, get vaccinated and make safe choices. We need your help to care for our community.

Share this Press Release

Published on August 13, 2021