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Coronavirus tests become available in eastern Idaho

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Eastern Idaho Public Health advises that commercial testing for the COVID-19 virus is now available in our area.

People should consult with their health care provider to determine if a test needs to be performed on them.

It is recommended people call ahead and do not show up unannounced in unprotected offices or emergency rooms.

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center spokesperson Coleen Niemann explained that for patients who demonstrate respiratory symptoms that are combined with fever, the hospital will first perform a respiratory swab test onsite. That will help professionals determine if it might be caused by other sources, including respiratory illness, like influenza, pneumonia, or RSV.

Under current Centers for Disease Control guidelines, if other sources are ruled out, it is recommended that providers collect a sample from the patient, then send it to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for testing. Niemann explained that hospitals are not authorized to test a specimen to confirm or rule out COVID-19.

As of Monday morning, there were no reported cases of COVID-19 in Idaho.

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