Have COVID-19 Questions?
Panhandle Health COVID-19 Information Hotline 877-415-5225
Open Mon-Fri 8 am – 7 pm, Saturday 9 am – 1 pm (PDT)
Idaho COVID-19 Hotline 1-888-330-3010
ID Dept. of Health and Welfare
Monday – Friday 8 am – 6 pm (MDT)
Using everyday preventive actions are the best way to stay ahead of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Incoming information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) is being updated almost daily and there have been some vital changes to the healthcare requirements in the past couple of weeks but the most important instructions have remained the same.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose;
- Stay home if you are ill
- Cover your cough/sneeze (Respiratory Hygiene and Cough Etiquette)
Boundary Community Hospital is ready. Boundary Community Hospital, Extended Care Facility (Nursing Home), and Boundary Community Clinics’ priority is the safety of our patients, their families, our staff and our community. While the COVID-19 Pandemic is very alarming, we have been practicing for Epidemics and Pandemics for years. We are well prepared for this one. These are some steps we have been taking to ensure the safety to all.
- Minimize the chance for Exposure to other patients and staff
- Strict adherence to Standard Precautions
- Manage Visitor access and movement within the facilities (Acute, ED, Outpatient, Clinic, and ECF)
- Ensure our personnel are trained and willing to care for a COVID-19 patient
- Protocols in place for monitoring and managing ill or exposed personnel
- Environmental Infection Prevention and Control measures are in place
- Network with Panhandle Health Department, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Northwest Hospital Alliance, Boundary County Emergency Management Public Information Officer (PIO) and Boundary County School District
VISITOR RESTRICTIONS are in place for the Extended Care Facility and the Acute Care Unit. As of March 13th, all non-essential visitors are restricted at this time. Please contact the facility by phone 208-267-3141 if you need to reach the department manager regarding a specific patient. Call the resident you want to visit instead of coming person.
The Northwest Hospital Alliance includes: Boundary Community Hospital in Bonners Ferry, Benewah Community Hospital in St Maries, Bonner General Health in Sandpoint, Kootenai Health in Coeur D’Alene, Shoshone Medical Center in Kellogg, Syringa Hospital and Clinics in Grangeville, Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino, and St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses belonging to the family of Coronaviridae, which infect both animals and humans. Human coronaviruses can cause mild disease similar to a common cold, while others cause more severe disease (such as MERS – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and SARS – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). A new coronavirus that previously has not been identified in humans emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
Signs and symptoms include respiratory symptoms and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and sometimes death. High-risk patients for severe coronavirus disease are older and have comorbidities (other health issues).
Remember to stay home and call public health, or your healthcare provider directly, if you experience any of these symptoms. It is best for our healthcare providers to treat you over the phone. Additionally, the Emergency Department is not the treatment of choice for Covid-19, and should not be utilized unless your symptoms become severe or emergent.
The Panhandle Health District has a hotline dedicated to assisting the public. If you have any questions about coronavirus or think you may be displaying symptoms, call 1-877-415-5225.
Preventing COVID-19 spread in the community:
These are the everyday preventative actions you can take to avoid getting COVID-19 and from spreading the infection throughout the community.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Call in sick if you have a fever and/or signs of cold or flu.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs that can cause respiratory illnesses like flu.
- If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow public health advice. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. CDC will continue to update the public as circumstances warrant. Click on the Resource links for the latest information.
- Stay informed – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is updating its website daily with the latest information and advice for the public (cdc.gov/ncov).
- It is recommended at this time to avoid nonessential travel. See the CDC website for the latest recommendations.
- If you or somebody you know has recently returned from any areas of concern and start to feel sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care. Call First BEFORE you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Since there is currently no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for this virus, it is important to remember to take everyday preventive actions that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
It is important to note that currently there are limited testing resources nationally for COVID-19. Individuals that meet specific criteria established by the CDC and Idaho State Lab are being tested. Contact your healthcare provider for the newest guidelines of who can be tested. Be aware that numbers may rise with the availability of the testing nationwide. This does not necessarily mean that the Pandemic is getting worse.
As of 1 pm April 3, 2020, Boundary Community Hospital has collected and sent 25 samples to the Idaho State Lab for COVID-19 testing. Twenty-two tests were negative with three pending. See Panhandle Health District for more information. All COVID-19 samples accepted at BCH are sent to the Idaho State Lab for testing at this time. These tests are recorded by County of Residence and not by where the samples are taken.
If you have symptoms and believe you need to be tested, call your Primary Care Provider to be screened. Tests require authorization by primary care providers following the CDC and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare guidelines for testing and the authorization of Panhandle Health District. If you have the provider order and need the test, drive up lab testing is available Monday through Friday 8 am through 3 pm at BCH Outpatient Services. A copy of the provider lab order must be faxed to the lab by the provider before you can be tested. Test results have been taking three to five days and are provided directly to your provider.
- Panhandle Health Department Call Center: 877-415-5225 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- CDC: cdc.gov/ncov
- CDC COVID-19 Self Checker: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html
- PHD: http://panhandlehealthdistrict.org/
- Idaho information: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/
- WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- University of Washington TASP Program Coronavirus Disease