Benewah Community Hospital COVID-19 Testing Guidelines

If you have came into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, please call the Admitting Front desk at 208-245-5551.  They will ask for your information and you will receive a call back from a Registered Nurse to discuss further action. If you do meet criteria for testing, the RN will inform you of a time to present for testing.

BCH will be testing people from our community who are symptomatic or have had a direct exposure to a COVID positive person. For direct exposures, we want to wait at least 5 days after the exposure to test (If the viral load isn’t high enough, testing too early could result in a false-negative).

We will be referring people who do NOT live in our community to a testing center near them. We have to limit testing to those within our community due to number of test kits on hand, limited PPE as well as available staffing.

As explained in a recent Press Release from Panhandle Health District, Kootenai Health, and Bonner General Health on June 29, 2020 titled “Local Health Leaders Provider COVID-19 Guidance”

COVID-19 cases are spiking throughout our area and we are seeing community transmission in Kootenai, Bonner, and Benewah counties. The virus has not let up and we can’t either. Contract tracing has shown that many of the new cases are a result of social settings where no or very few precautions are being taken. The good news is we know what slows the spread; masking, physical distancing and handwashing work. Recent studies of masking efforts in New York, Wuhan and Italy show that wearing masks in public is the best way to lower community transmission rates when everyone participates.

As more people are exposed to someone with COVID-19, more people are seeking testing. A common misconception is that if you had close contact to a person with COVID-19, then you should immediately be tested. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than that. If you have had close contact with a positive case, you should begin to self-isolate from the general public and especially high-risk individuals. Stay home other than to seek medical treatment. If you do leave your home, wear a mask to prevent potential spread.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: • Fever or chills • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Fatigue • Muscle or body aches • Headache • New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea 

For more information regarding COVID-19, visit panhandlehealthdistrict.org/covid-19 or call the Panhandle Health District Hotline Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at 877-415-5225.