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Intermountain Healthcare Mobile COVID Community Testing Unit heads to Burley

Posted at 12:28 AM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 09:24:24-05

BURLEY, Idaho — Intermountain Healthcare has been utilizing its Mobile COVID-19 Community Testing Unit since the early stages of the pandemic providing free, walk-up tests to Idaho residents and out-of-staters.

The mobile unit typically assists areas without quick or immediate access to a testing facility.

"We work closely with our community health partners who have connections within the community. Really, where there is interest and where there is a need that is identified by the community, then we're out there meeting as much of that demand as we possibly can," explains Emily Shake, Director of Commercialization for Intermountain Healthcare.

According to the South Central Public Health District, there over 2,000 confirmed COVID cases in Cassia County. That makes Burley a location with testing needs.

"I'm part of a group through St. Luke's, and we look at those populations across the Magic Valley, and I know in Jerome and the Mini-Cassia area, I know those numbers are a little bit higher," says Roy Villasenor, Regional Manager for the Community Council of Idaho in Burley.

The test being provided is the standard PCR test. However, instead of using the nasal swab, the mobile unit will be conducting saliva tests instead. There are some rules people need to abide by 30 minutes before their test.

"No eating, drinking, smoking, vaping, chewing gum, any of that. It really gets us a great clean specimen that will get us clean results and that there won't be indeterminants," said Shake.

For those getting tested, there will be safety protocols in place to limit exposure and make it as safe as possible for staff and residents hoping to get a test done.

"We'll have individuals generally enter from one side of the building and then exit after they completed testing from the other side of the building. So we try to have good signage, and then we just ask everybody to stay socially distanced, wear your mask," says Shake.

Testing will be conducted this Friday at the Burley Community Council of Idaho building on 13th Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. No form of pre-registration is required. To see if you qualify for a test, click here.