Have COVID-19 Questions?

Panhandle Health COVID-19 Information Hotline 877-415-5225
Open Mon-Fri 8 am – 5 pm  (PDT)

Idaho COVID-19 Hotline 1-888-330-3010
ID Dept. of Health and Welfare
Monday – Friday 8 am – 6 pm (MDT)

Link to CDC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Checker

COVID Testing at BCH 10 AM – 1 PM Mon – Fri. Must be pre-registered.

Boundary Community Hospital COVID-19 Testing

The BCH Lab continues to require authorization by primary care providers following the CDC and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare guidelines.  A copy of the provider lab order must be faxed to the lab by the provider before a patient can be tested.

Patients MUST be Pre-Registered BEFORE coming to the Hospital for testing.

A PHYSICIAN OR PROVIDER ORDER MUST BE ON FILE AT THE BCH LAB IN ORDER FOR A PATIENT TO BE PRE-REGISTERED FOR COVID-19 TESTING.

Effective October 21, 2020

Pre-Registration Hours are: 9 AM to 11 AM ONLY Monday-Friday

  • Call 208-661-5668 between 9 am and 11 am Monday through Friday to be placed on the call back list for the next available pre-registration clerk to register the patient.
  • If the patient has Health Insurance, please be ready to share this information.
  • Once patient is pre-registered, information about testing check-in and process will be provided.

BCH COVID-19 Testing Hours: 10 AM to 1 PM Monday-Friday. 

Lab results are sent to the ordering Physician/Provider.
These tests are recorded by County of Residence and not by where the samples are taken.

If a patient presents to the Emergency Department for testing outside of normal lab hours, there will be an Emergency fee associated with the visit, as well as the COVID-19 test.

Hospital COVID-19 Update to the Community – July 29, 2020

COVID-19 Lab Testing in Boundary County by Dr. Greg Botkin July 2, 2020

Using everyday preventive actions are the best way to stay ahead of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) is constantly being updated and there have been some vital changes to the healthcare requirements in the past few weeks but the most important instructions have remained the same.

  1. Wash your hands frequently
  2. Avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose;
  3. Stay home if you are ill
  4. 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

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.

Visitor Protocols

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS are in place but visits are allowed.
For the health of Patients and Staff, ALL VISITORS MUST COMPLY WITH FACILITY COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS – including wearing masks and other PPE as requested/required by nurse/provider, COVID-19 screening, temperature check, hand hygiene and social distancing.

  • AC Lobby remains closed with the exception of Surgery patients and one family member. If you have questions about visitors, please ask the AC Nurse on duty.
  • Acute Care: Visitor Restrictions are currently in place – Limited to Essential Visitors Only as approved by Nurse or Provider for the health of the patient in our care. All Hospital admissions (including Swing and Obs, as well as medical) are required to have COVID-19 testing – precautions shall be taken until test results are received from the BCH Lab.
  • Emergency: Visitor Restrictions are currently in place – Limited to Essential Visitors Only as approved by Nurse or Provider for the health of the patient in our care. Emergency visitors/family members enter through the Emergency door only and not through the AC Lobby.
  • Surgery: One family member of surgery patients will be permitted to wait in the AC/ED Lobby during surgery and recovery. This is for the convenience of the Surgeon and surgery team as well as the benefit of the patient. All surgery patients are tested for COVID-19 the day before surgery so that they only have to isolate overnight.
  • ECF: New “By Appointment” visitation has been going well. Residents and family members are happy to be reunited and we have been having multiple visits per day.
    • Family members are limited to one visitor per patient and only one visit is allowed each hour.
    • Visitors must call and schedule their visit during visiting hours of 10:00am to 7:00pm by calling 208-267-4847.
    • No visitation at meal times which are from 8:30 am-9: 30 am, 12:15 pm-1:15 pm and 4:45 pm-5:45 pm to continue compliance with the 6 foot social distancing requirements.

COVID-19:

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.
  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask to protect those around you.

STAY INFORMED:

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).
  • Protect those around you. Continue to take extra precautions if visiting someone or if you are living with someone who is at higher risk of severe illness. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertiseolder adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditionsmight be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • 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.

Travel: CDC recommendations as of May 28, 2020

Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Before you travel, learn if COVID-19 is spreading in your local area or in any of the places you are going. Traveling to visit family may be especially dangerous if you or your loved ones are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19. People at higher risk for severe illness need to take extra precautions. For more considerations see the webpage Coronavirus in the United States—Considerations for Travelers.

BCH Emergency Dept. Check In

For the safety of you, our patients, and our staff during the pandemic, as of April 8, 2020, we have set up a special process for accessing Emergency Services.  Patients driving in should park in the designated Check-in Parking spot under the Ambulance Bay and call the Registrar phone number listed on the sign.  Once checked in and screened, a nurse will come out to assess/triage and give further instructions.  As always, we are ready 24/7 to serve you and care for our community. If you are in an emergency situation, please call 911. Boundary Ambulance is our partner in providing you with excellent emergency care.

The Acute Care/Emergency lobby is closed.  A video intercom has been installed so you can talk with the health unit coordinator directly about your needs. For Saturday Outpatient Services (Lab or X-Ray), please call ahead to make sure the paperwork is in order and they will give you instructions on where to park and enter the facility.

Gina Gallette, RN, Nurse Manager for the Emergency Room explains in this video.

Time Sensitive Emergencies and COVID-19

Additional Resources: