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St. Luke’s begins drive-up COVID-19 testing at Meridian and Ketchum locations

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 19:22:47-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — This article was originally written by Ximena Bustillo with the Idaho Statesman

St. Luke’s is the first major hospital in Idaho to set up drive-up testing and screening tents for individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19. Testing began Tuesday at the Meridian and Ketchum locations.

According to a statement on Facebook, this is an effort to decrease patient flow in all St. Luke’s urgent care, emergency department and ambulatory clinic sites. Starting on Tuesday, the tents will hold supplies and patents will stay in their cars for screening, registration and testing.

To be eligible for testing, patients must be showing coronavirus symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. According to the statement, if patients do not meet the criteria for testing, they will be sent home to conserve resources.

To conserve and optimize staffing and supplies, the hospital is asking patients to go to identified screening locations in Meridian, Boise, Nampa, Ketchum and surrounding areas for COVID-19 testing.

WHERE TO FIND THE TENTS

St. Luke’s Meridian and St. Luke’s Wood River hospitals, which are designated as having the greatest need by the hospital, are the first to get the tents starting on Tuesday. The tents will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and patients can be tested from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Patients will also no longer be able to get tested at clinics in these locations.

St. Luke’s hospital in Boise will begin offering tests starting Wednesday. Nampa patients will be able to receive drive-up screening and testing in the Saltzer Health parking lot located at the St. Luke’s Nampa campus, however the start date has not been announced.

Hours could be expanded at any location based on demand, according to the statement.

Additional sites in Elmore County, Fruitland and the Magic Valley are to follow but do not have an opening date, according to the statement. The hospital is still evaluating options for testing in McCall.

Updated information on the drive-up testing sites can be found on the St. Luke’s online blog.

Saint Alphonsus officials told the Idaho Statesman that it is not doing drive-up testing or screenings at this time.