Gritman Medical Center has received questions regarding our COVID-19 testing availability, screening guidelines and number of test samples collected.
There is a national shortage of COVID-19 test kits. Gritman does have a supply of kits and has been testing multiple times per day for several weeks on patients who meet the screening guidelines. The guidelines for COVID-19 testing are established in accordance with state and federal public health officials including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The current guidelines (which are subject to change) for testing include:
- COVID-19 symptoms including fever (100.4 and higher), cough and shortness of breath
- Hospitalized patients
- Health care facility workers with symptoms
- Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms
- Patients 65 years of age and older with symptoms
- Patients with underlying health conditions with symptoms
- First responders with symptoms
Test samples collected at Gritman are sent to either the Idaho State Laboratory in Boise or an out of state commercial lab. Any positive test results are reported through the public health authorities (Public Health-Idaho North Central District) in accordance with state law.
Under state law, positive test results for certain communicable diseases (including COVID-19) are reported to Idaho public health authorities. Any questions regarding the reporting of test results or number of test samples collected should be directed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.