Bonner and Boundary County are seeing an increase in COVID cases. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to remain open and available to our patients. Whenever possible, we encourage you to have your appointment via a Telehealth appointment so you don't have to visit the office. If you do come to the office, remember your mask & try to come by yourself, if you are able. You may also wait in your car until it is time for your appointment.
Please be patient with our staff as they are receiving more phone calls than normal and it is taking longer for them to return calls.
Family Health Center
Regional hospitals reach full capacity
The Inland Northwest is at a critical moment in the COVID-19 pandemic. The actions of our community will determine whether Kootenai Health and other regional hospitals will have the ability to continue providing care for all types of patients in our region.
As of 8 a.m. on October 21, Kootenai Health has 31 COVID-19 inpatients and 11 of these patients require critical care. The overall hospital census for all patients requiring medical or surgical care is 99 percent full. Spokane hospitals are also full and many cannot accept more patients.
Because all regional hospitals are experiencing the same situation, there will be limited opportunities to transfer patients to other facilities once at capacity. If there is no room available, Kootenai Health is currently looking at hospitals in Seattle or Portland to find space to transfer patients, but it is very limited.
In addition to being short on patient rooms, Kootenai is also facing a shortage of staff. Because all communities are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and facing challenges similar to ours, it is more difficult to find and recruit nurses, including traveling nurses from other communities.
Of the COVID-19 tests conducted at Kootenai Health, we are seeing the highest rate of positivity since the start of the pandemic.
Our hospitals, health district and emergency responders are relying on our community for support. The best way forward is to keep up with efforts that will flatten the uptick in cases in our region. Each person can help make a difference by doing the following:
· Wear your mask/face covering around people you don’t live with. This is the best way to prevent spreading germs to others.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
· Keep your family home when possible and definitely stay home when sick.
· Avoid public areas and do your best to distance yourself at least 6 feet from others.
· Avoid travel. All experts suggest canceling non-emergent travel plans.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue if you are not masked, then throw the tissue in the trash.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces often.
As we enter the eighth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an overwhelming sense of “pandemic fatigue” which has exhausted us all. As we enter cold and flu season we anticipate the usual increase in illnesses and hospitalizations, which will affect already stretched resources.
On behalf of your community hospital, health district, emergency services, and surrounding critical access hospitals, please stay vigilant. Let us all commit to spread out, limit groups, wear a mask, and encourage others to do the same. Each of us plays a role in protecting our friends, family, and co-workers. It takes a collective effort to make a difference. Together we can slow the spread of this disease to help keep it manageable for our health care system and protect those who are most susceptible to complications from COVID-19.
We can get through this together.
Communications and Marketing
Bonner General Health has set up a drive - thru that will be located on the West side of the Health Services building.
Patients will enter on Third and Alder. (Please see map)
You must have an order from your doctor.
Hours of drive - thru: 8:00 am - 10:00 am & 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
You must have an order from your primary care physician. You can't just show up at the testing site - they will turn you away. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. If you are having symptoms you will be asked to have your appointment via a Video Visit (Telehealth). Our staff can walk you through how this works. It is best to wait 5 days after symptoms in order to get accurate testing results.
Tests are currently being sent to Incyte and it seems to be taking 24-48 hours from when the specimen gets to the lab.
You will get a call from the ordering physicians office. If you are positive you may also receive a call from the lab and/or the health district, in addition to your physicians office.
Our office is doing our best to call you as soon as we have results back. We know that waiting for your results is the hard part and we want to do everything we can to get you your results as quickly as possible.
(You can also sign up for the hospitals patient portal so you can access your results.)
Our staff is more than happy to talk with you about your concerns, symptoms, etc. Just call our office at 208-263-1435, choose option #2 and let the staff know that you have some questions about would like a nurse to return your call. Or you can make an appointment with our physicians. We are here to help!
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:
Cloth face coverings should—
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 please call our office at 208-263-1435.
For those who are feeling well, but have had a cough illness in the last few months or were exposed to someone who had COVID-19, we are now offering a blood antibody test for COVID-19. This test is used to investigate whether a person has been exposed to COVID-19 in the past and has developed antibodies. If you are interested in this testing please make an appointment for a short visit, in person or by video, so we can discuss your situation.