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For the latest coronavirus care instructions and resources, please call our COVID-19 hotline at 208-381-9500. Find additional information and resources here and learn more about how we’re working to keep you healthy and safe.

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COVID-19 Resources

Do you have symptoms of COVID-19, or think you may have been exposed?

St. Luke’s is here to help.

Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms and the testing process at St. Luke’s

Factors Impacting St. Luke's Service Availability and COVID-19 Response

  • Staffing, Supply, and PPE Availability

    We are constantly adjusting and adapting as our access to personal protective equipment, critical health care supplies, and a healthy workforce fluctuates. 

  • Clinical Standards

    Practices change as our understanding of the virus evolves; our team continually evaluates and incorporates the latest science and clinical care guidelines.

  • COVID-19 Patient Census

    We carefully monitor ongoing COVID-19 inpatient and surge activity levels within our hospitals.

  • Overall Capacity for Care

    All day, every day, we are watching the availability of medical, surgical and ICU beds for all patients.

Due to increased COVID-19 activity, we will pause scheduling of NEW elective surgical procedures and other elective procedures requiring an overnight hospital stay at all St. Luke's facilities from Monday, Nov. 16 through Friday, Dec. 25.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click each question below for its answer:

What are coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. These viruses, at times, can evolve and infect people, and then spread through human-to-human contact. They are the cause of up to 25 percent of the upper respiratory infections seen each year.
How do you get infected with COVID-19?
Human coronaviruses, including COVID-19, spread just like the flu or a cold — through the air from coughs or sneezes; through close personal contact, like touching or shaking hands; by touching an object or surface with the viruses on it and then touching your face; and occasionally, through fecal contamination.
How can I lessen my risk of COVID-19 infection?
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, use the same precautions you would for the flu and common cold. St. Luke’s recommends these infection-prevention practices:
  • If you’re sick, stay home. Use the myChart self-triage tool or call the St. Luke's hotline at 208-381-9500 if you suspect you have the virus.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve – not your hands – when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your home, work space, shared items and other frequented locations.
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with sick individuals.
  • Based on current evidence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
How do I know if I have COVID-19? Should I get tested?
The severity can range from mild to severe illness for confirmed COVID-19 cases. It has caused many deaths around the world. 

The following symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure:
  • 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

These symptoms alone are not a predictor of COVID-19. Check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to assess risk.  

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal distress, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste/smell or repeated shaking with chills, and are concerned you may have risk factors for coronavirus, the team at St. Luke's can help. Please use our self-triage tool in myChart first; it will help you determine what to do next. If you don’t have a myChart account, you can create one online here. You may also call our COVID-19 hotline for instructions or assistance at 208-381-9500.

Please visit an emergency department if you need treatment for severe symptoms.

Will I have to pay to be tested for coronavirus?

COVID-19 tests will be provided to anyone who is screened and meets criteria based on their symptoms and/or exposure. Our team is available to screen you to determine if testing is needed. St. Luke's will bill your insurance company, however, you will not have an out of pocket or co-payment. If you do not have insurance, St. Luke's will not bill you for the test, and you will not be required to prove a need for financial assistance.

How long will it take to get test results?
The time to receive results fluctuates based on demand and surge activity. A positive test will result in a phone call and all results will be added to myChart.
Should I go to the emergency department?

If you develop symptoms of respiratory illness and are concerned you may have risk factors for COVID-19, please check your symptoms using our self-triage tool in myChart or call St. Luke's triage hotline at 208-381-9500. Clinic staff will be able to complete a risk assessment over the phone and provide guidance on next steps, which may include arranging testing if needed.

Please visit an emergency department if you need treatment for severe symptoms. Learn more about severe symptoms.

Providers should coordinate with their local Emergency Department or hospital if a patient has severe symptoms.

What can I do to prevent myself from getting sick from COVID-19?
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, use the same precautions you would for the flu and common cold. St. Luke’s recommends these infection-prevention practices:
  • If you’re sick, stay home. Use the self-triage tool in myChart or call the St. Luke's hotline at 208-381-9500 if you suspect you have the virus and feel you need evaluation for symptoms. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve – not your hands – when coughing or sneezing. 
  • Clean your home, workspace, shared items and other frequented locations. 
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with sick individuals. 
  • Based on new evidence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others and healthcare personnel caring for symptomatic patients.
Do we know how long the virus is living on surfaces?
According to an updated study, this coronavirus (COVID-19) can remain active and viable for up to 2 to 3 days on inanimate surfaces, including stainless steel, plastics, cardboard (up to 24 hours), glass and copper. Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces with most cleaners makes the virus inactivate within one minute.
Should I be wearing a mask?
Updated and reviewed 10/20/2020

St. Luke’s mandates universal masking for patients, visitors, vendors and staff in all facilities. A procedural mask will be provided to patients, visitors, and vendors entering a patient care facility and will be required in all patient care environments, as well as all common areas such as hallways, lobbies, waiting rooms, elevators, etc. Cloth face coverings will only be permitted in patient care facilities when they are covered by a procedural mask. St. Luke's will provide procedural masks, if needed.

We recommend following current guidance from the CDC. The CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States. Recent studies indicate that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. Based on this new evidence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. It is important to note that masks should be used as a secondary defense, after social distancing and proper hand washing.

Helpful tips about making, wearing, and clearing face masks can be found here.

Review the science behind masking effectiveness here.

I haven't been wearing a mask other places, like restaurants and stores, why do I have to wear one at St. Luke's?
We realize there are varying practices, but the health care setting is unique. We have a responsibility to provide the safest possible environment to all our patients, visitors and staff. COVID-19 is highly contagious. It spreads quickly and can be dangerous. To protect you, other patients, visitors and staff, masks are required at all St. Luke’s facilities.
What should I do if I have recently traveled and am sick?
If you have traveled within the past 14 days and have COVID-19 symptoms, you should call your primary care provider to complete a risk assessment over the phone. They will be able to provide guidance on next steps, if needed. While sick, avoid contact with people, stay home and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

There are COVID-19 vaccines in development. Learn more about COVID vaccines.

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms. Investigational trials are currently underway, and this could change in the future. 
Can people who recover from COVID-19 be infected again?
The immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood. Patients with COVID-19 are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known if patients with COVID-19 become immune once they've contracted the virus.
If we have a family member (children, elderly parents) we take care of daily who is showing symptoms, should we self-quarantine and work from home for 14 days?

Not unless the family member tests positive for COVID-19. You should monitor yourself for development of any symptoms and if they develop, you should use the myChart self-triage tool or contact the St. Luke's triage hotline at 208-381-9500 to complete a risk assessment screening. At this time, the 14-day isolation is only required after travel to a CDC high-risk area or exposure to a known or suspected COVID-19 patient.

What should we do if we have a family member who is immuno-compromised?
The advice is similar to our general recommendations including the practice of good hand hygiene, frequent cleaning of high-touch items and avoiding close contact with others if they notice COVID-19 symptoms. Also, consider limiting exposures of yourself and these family members to large gatherings and public events.
I was scheduled for a class through St. Luke’s, will it still take place or has it been cancelled?
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health concerns, some St. Luke's classes such as St. Luke’s birth, parenting, safety, car seat check, scheduled maternity tours, Moms Meet Up and Breastfeeding Bunch support groups have been moved to online formats or cancelled. Some previously cancelled classes have resumed with new guidelines. Check the local group page for updates. 

If you have questions, please reach out to our offices:
  • Treasure Valley: 208-381-1510 
  • Magic Valley: 208-814-0407
  • Wood River: 208-727-8253
  • McCall: 208-634-1400
Will construction continue at the Boise hospital and other St. Luke's locations?

‘Commercial construction’ is considered an essential service in Idaho. Construction on the St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center and that planned at other St. Luke’s locations will continue if appropriate with additional precautions in place.

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