New mask and screening protocols at St. Luke's

Posted at 4:15 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 18:49:08-04

BOISE, Idaho — St. Lukes Health System is making updates to their face mask and screening protocols effective May 11. The list of symptoms associated with COVID-19 has been updated to align with the expanded list of symptoms recently identified by the CDC.

Symptoms now include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing or at least two of the following:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • GI Symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, nausea)

St. Luke's also expanded its policy of mandatory face masks not just for employees, but now for patients, visitors, vendors and staff in all clinical facilities. A mask is provided to patients and visitors entering a patient care facility and will be required in all environments, including hallways, lobbies, waiting rooms and elevators.

"We've got plenty of masks to use, but we want to constantly be reevaluating that against what our policy is, and we think that this is going to further reduce the likelihood of some asymptomatic person transmitting the virus to somebody else," said Robert Cavagnol, Executive Medical Director at St. Luke's Clinic Medical Group.

St. Luke’s is considering how this policy applies to non-COVID patients in their rooms when they aren’t within 6 feet of anyone else. Specific guidelines are being determined. Until then, patients should continue to practice social distancing and masking when 6 feet of distance is not possible.