Gritman Medical Center’s COVID-19 hotline is available for those with questions about symptoms, testing and home treatment regarding the coronavirus.
“I think that what’s most important is we’re trying to be an additional resource to the public,” said Peter Mundt, Gritman’s director of community relations and marketing.
He said hotline staff received a steady volume of calls Friday — the first full day the hotline was available.
“Everybody’s had an opportunity to get their call taken,” Mundt said. “If someone was on the phone or if it had to go to a voicemail, their call was returned.”
People also can call Public Health-Idaho North Central District at (866) 736-6632 for COVID-19 questions.
The three primary symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“If people have those symptoms, they need to stay at home,” Mundt said.
If a doctor feels a person meets the threshold for testing, the doctor will coordinate with PH-INCD and then a determination will be made if a test will be collected, Mundt said. If a sample needs to be collected, Gritman can collect a sample and provide it to the state laboratory for testing.
He said there is a limited supply of tests nationwide and states have a different threshold for testing. Mundt said the test kits will be used for those “most clinically appropriate.”
Tara Macke, PH-INCD public information officer, said in an email that all five hospitals in the five-county district — Latah, Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater and Idaho counties — have submitted tests, but one of the unknowns is whether and how much, if any, local sampling is being sent through commercial labs for testing.
Macke wrote PH-INCD is unable to track county-specific data for sampling as providers submit samples to commercial labs and are not always obligated to notify Public Health prior to submission. She wrote PH-INCD is notified of all results as they become available and that test results take two to five days after the labs receive them.
There are 31 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Idaho but none in the PH-INCD as of Friday afternoon.
There have been 692 people tested through the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories and 219 people have been tested through commercial laboratories.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents with questions about coronavirus symptoms, testing and home treatment can call the Gritman Medical Center hotline at (208) 883-4109.
They can also contact Public Health-Idaho North Central District for with questions at (866) 736-6632.