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EIPH reports first COVID-19 case in Clark County; Portneuf Hospital offering drive-thru testing

Coronavirus

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IDAHO FALLS — Clark County, the most sparsely populated part of eastern Idaho, reported its first case of COVID-19 Tuesday.

The case was a man in his 50s who acquired the virus through community spread in eastern Idaho. He is recovering at home.

This latest case means the novel coronavirus has now been reported in every county within the boundaries of Eastern Idaho Public Health. The health district saw a big spike in cases during the month of July. As of Wednesday, there are 197 active cases in the district, compared to 42 active cases on July 1. The latest data shows that 1,127 eastern Idahoans recovered from COVID-19 since mid-March and are no longer being monitored by EIPD or Southeast Idaho Public Heath.

Death rates remain very low. EIPH has reported a COVID-19 death in Bonneville County and another in Jefferson County. SIPH has reported four deaths evenly split between Bannock and Bingham counties.

At the moment, there are 27 eastern Idahoans recovering at area hospitals, in addition to a number of others from central Idaho, and Wyoming. EastIdahoNews.com will be launching a more comprehensive semiweekly data story, which will include hospitalization numbers directly from local hospitals.

COVID-19 has an extremely high recovery rate, and the vast majority of people who catch the virus will recover at home with no problems.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and our local health districts encourage everyone to practice preventive measures to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. This includes staying home if you’re sick, physical distancing, washing hands frequently and wearing face coverings in public when physical distancing is not possible.

For questions regarding COVID-19, call EIPH’s call center at (208) 522-0310 or toll free at (855) 533-3160 to speak with someone. The call center is open Mon. through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, questions can be submitted via email to COVIDQuestions@eiph.idaho.gov or on their Facebook page.

For more COVID-19 news, click here.

Portneuf Medical Center offers, quick, safe drive-thru testing

POCATELLO — If you’re concerned you may have COVID-19, Portneuf Medical Center’s drive thru testing can make it quick and easy to find out.

COVID-19 testing is being done on Portneuf Medical Centers campus, outside the northwest corner of the Emergency Department. Testing is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday.

It is best to obtain an order from your primary care provider before arriving at the testing site. However, testing can be done without an order, but more paperwork will be required.

Laboratory workers will come out to your car in order to conduct your test. Testing requires samples from the back of your nose and throat, called a nasopharyngeal swab. Patients can expect test results in 4 -10 days.

“We want to make testing safe, easy and open to our community, and drive thru testing allows us to do exactly that. Our community needs to know that we are here to serve them and that all our facilities, including our testing sites, are safe,” said Mary Keating, Director of Marketing.

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