COVID-19 Daily Updates

Return to PHASE 2 Visitor Guidelines- update 7/11/2020

Due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Gem County and surrounding areas this past week, Valor Health has chosen to return to PHASE 2 of our visitor guidelines. As of July 11, 2020, Valor Health will return to very limited visitation for patients in our hospital and clinics. Please review the full Phase 2 Guidelines. We also continue to require all patients and visitors to mask during their visit to Valor Health.

Proper Masking and Cleaning Education- update 6/26/2020

COVID-19 Testing for Surgery Patients- Update 6/16/2020

The Surgical Services department at Valor Health is requiring patients that are receiving total joint replacement surgery to be tested for COVID-19. Your surgical team will discuss all pre-surgery requirements. Rapid testing will be utilized for these patients. Patients will only be notified of positive test results.

Valor chooses to support ONE Idaho Pledge- Update 6/12/2020

As we continue to follow the recommendations of our state leadership, we have chosen to guide our community by example and accept the ONE Idaho Pledge. As a healthcare leader and local business,

We pledge to help keep Idaho’s economy open and build patient confidence by maintaining safe, six-foot physical distancing for patients, visitors and employees, limiting the number of people within our waiting areas, requiring masks while on Valor Health Campus, asking all people who are sick to stay home, and ensure a clean and hygienic environment.

Learn more about ONE Idaho here We invite all of our partners and community businesses and individuals to take the pledge.

Visitor Guidelines as per Rebounding Idaho recommendations beginning 6.13.2020- update 6/11/2020

Valor Health has updated our Visitor Guidelines that will go into effect on June 13, 2020. These guidelines will remain in effect until otherwise posted.

HOSPITAL

Inpatient – Limited Visitor Hours

  • Visitors are allowed.
  • Visiting hours are 8am-5pm, daily.
  • Visitors must enter through the main hospital doors.
  • Visitors may remove masks in patient rooms, but are required to wear masks in all other areas of the hospital.
  • Visitors will practice social distancing inpatient rooms and sanitize hands upon entrance and exit of patient room and after touching personal items, the patient, or after eating.

Emergency – Limited Visitors

  • Patients will be allowed up to 2 visitors, exceptions may be made on a case by case basis by clinical staff.
  • Patients and visitors may wait in the waiting room but may be asked to wait in their cars if social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Only patients seeking emergency medical services may use the Emergency Entrance.

Laboratory and Imaging – Limited Visitors

  • Exceptions include minors and patients needing assistance.
  • Patients and visitors may wait in the waiting areas but may be asked to wait in their cars if social distancing cannot be maintained.

Surgery, Orthopedics, and Visiting Specialists (East Clinic) – Limited Visitors

  • Exceptions include minors and patients needing assistance.
  • Patients and visitors should enter through the front hospital doors.
  • Patients and visitors may wait in the waiting areas but may be asked to wait in their cars if social distancing cannot be maintained.

CLINICS

Family Medicine (EMC) and Specialty (SMSC) – Limited Visitors

  • Exceptions include minors and patients needing assistance.
  • Patients and visitors may wait in the waiting areas but may be asked to wait in their cars if social distancing cannot be maintained.

Coronavirus Testing Cost- update 6/1/2020

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-throughput technology has evolved to accommodate the increase in COVID testing. Here at Valor Health, we have chosen to utilize only the most accurate, FDA-approved, commercial COVID-19 testing methods available. Valor Health is charging for COVID-19 tests. For those who are insured, please verify plan coverage and member cost-share information with your health insurance company. Valor Health will charge $100.00 for COVID-19 PCR, high-throughput testing. Valor Health can help patients navigate payment plan arrangements, financial assistance and health coverage options. Please call us at (208) 365-3561 for more assistance.

Visitor Guidelines Phase 3- update 5/30/2020

As we continue to follow the Governor’s lead in rebounding Idaho, we have updated our visitor guidelines.

Inpatient Visitors– No Limitations Visitors are allowed, but may be limited at the discretion of Nursing Management. Visiting hours are 8am-5pm, daily. Visitors must enter through the main hospital doors.

Outpatient Visitors– Limited Visitors Exceptions include minors and patients needing assistance.

Emergency Visitors (including waiting area)– Limited Visitors Patients will be allowed up to 2 visitors, exceptions may be made on a case by case basis by clinical staff. No Visitors are allowed in waiting room. Patients may be asked to wait in their cars if social distancing cannot be maintained in the waiting room. Only patients seeking emergency medical services may use the Emergency Entrance.

Valor Health Service Hours- update 5/19/2020

We have recently extended our laboratory hours. All current service hours are listed below. For more service information or for questions, please call (208) 365-3561

  • The Emergency Department is open every day, 24/7
  • Urgent Care is open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm
  • Family Medicine Clinic and Specialty Clinic- by appointment, in-person and now offering telemedicine.
  • Respiratory Screening Tent is open Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm and Saturdays, 8am-5pm
  • Laboratory Outpatient services are available Monday-Friday, 7am-8pm and Saturday, 8am-5pm
  • Imaging Outpatient Services are available Monday-Friday, 7am-4pm and by appointment
  • Infusion Services are available by appoinment
  • Surgical Services are available. Speak to your provider about surgery at Valor Health.

Visitor Guidelines Phase 2- update 5/14/2020

As Phase 2 begins May 16th, rotation of visitors to the inpatient (patient who stays in the hospital while under treatment) unit will be permitted.  Each patient may have 1 visitor at a time, but visitors may rotate to the bedside.  Before entering, each visitor will be screened and must wear a mask for the entire visit.  All visitors will be required to enter through the main hospital doors.  Visiting hours remain 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Emergency Patients will be allowed 1 visitor, exceptions may be made on a case by case basis by clinical staff. Visitors will be masked, screened, and will be asked to follow handwashing guidelines set by staff. No patients or visitors will be allowed in the waiting room. Only patients seeking emergency medical services may use the Emergency Entrance.

Outpatient Clinics and Additional Services – We continue to ask that patients only have visitors when needing additional assistance or for minor patients.

Visitor Guidelines as per Rebounding Idaho recommendations- update 4/30/2020, 5/4/2020

Emergency Visitors: At this time, no visitors will be allowed in the Emergency Department and waiting area.  Exceptions will be made for end of life care, care of pediatrics, or at the discretion of the ED clinical staff.  Patients may be asked to wait in their car if no treatment rooms are readily available. Please speak to staff upon arrival for current guidelines. Only patients seeking Emergency Services are allowed to use the Emergency Entrance

Beginning May 1st, Valor Health will begin transitioning visitors back within the inpatient unit only.  Each inpatient will be allowed one (1) visitor. This visitor must be the same person throughout the duration of the encounter.  All visitors must enter through the main hospital doors.  Visitors will be screened and their temperature will be taken.  If screening criteria are not met or the visitor has a fever, they will not be allowed admittance.  Those visitors that pass their screening will be asked to wear a mask during the entire visit.  The visitor will be asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering a patient room, during their visit and upon leaving.  Visitors will be welcomed from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, each day.  The visitor recommendations will continue to evolve as Valor Health plans to follow the Governor’s Rebounding Idaho recommendations.  We are developing updated visitor guidelines for our clinics and other outpatient services and will share more information when it is available.

Outpatient Clinics – No visitors are allowed in the clinics at this time, with limited exceptions, including to accompany children or adults needing assistance. 

Elective Surgery Reopening at Valor- update 4/24/2020

As the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic changes, Valor Health has begun evaluating and reinstating necessary medical services.  We have decided to re-open our surgical services department to perform elective procedures starting Monday, April 27, 2020. After evaluating recommendations from CMS and a Joint Statement published by the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of PeriOperative Nurses, and American Hospital Association, we are confident we have the proper policies and procedures in place to provide a safe surgical environment to our community. We are taking extra precautions with our patients who may be needing an inpatient stay and we are performing phone screenings for COVID-19 on every patient that is scheduled for surgery.

Please know Valor Health has your safety and the safety of our staff as our number one priority when making these adjustments.  We appreciate your understanding and accommodations during this time. Should we see local, state, or national changes, we will adapt accordingly and will notify you as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to reschedule a canceled procedure, please feel free to contact us at (208) 901-3276

Patient and Visitor Protocol- update 4/24/2020

  • Patients/visitors will be encouraged to present to all locations with a face-covering. Patients/visitors who do not have a face-covering will be provided a cloth mask to be worn before entry into the facility, while supplies last. Please keep masks for reuse. Learn more about using cloth masks safely at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-faq.html
  • In addition to the patient and visitor screening guidelines already in place, Valor Health will be adding a temperature check as part of the screening process for all patients and visitors at all locations.

Universal Masking Protocol- update 4/23/2020

A universal masking policy is in effect for all staff and providers in buildings or areas where patient care is provided. This includes hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic areas.

Valor Health Service Hours- update 4/13/2020

We know that emergencies and needs for other necessary care don’t stop during a pandemic. We know that many people still need to have services and appointments at our clinics and hospital.  We have taken countless precautions to ensure those patients needing service can get those without fear.  Don’t let COVID-19 prevent you from seeking the care you require. Valor Health services are available for you and your families when you need us.

  • The Emergency Department is open every day, 24/7
  • Urgent Care is open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm
  • Family Medicine Clinic and Specialty Clinic- by appointment, now offering telemedicine.
  • Respiratory Screening Tent is open Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm and Saturdays, 8am-5pm
  • Laboratory Outpatient services are available Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm
  • Imaging Outpatient Services are available Monday-Friday, 7am-4pm and by appointment

Telemedicine Consent Form and Appointment Instruction- update 4/8/2020

Valor Health telemedicine appointments are available for our patients. Meet with your doctor virtually, from the comfort and safety of your own home. Learn more about telemedicine appointments and how easy it here. Patients who accept telemedicine services will need to review and complete the Consent to Receive Telemedince Services form.

Gem Community Message- update 4/6/2020

We are all in this together. Gem County and City agencies, and community partners are working together to spread the Safer at Home message. Will you do your part? Watch our Community Video

COVID-19 Community Spread – update 4/1/2020

Today Southwest District Health confirmed that Gem County has five total COVID-19 cases. There is now also confirmed community spread within Gem County….. Read More

Testing Criteria and Triage Tent- update 3/31/2020

We hear our community asking about COVID-19 testing and wanted to share some information regarding testing availability and criteria.  A respiratory triage nurse is available to answer your questions about symptoms and screenings, just call (208) 365-3561 and follow the COVID-19 prompts.

The Respiratory Illness Triage Tent (located at 1102 E Locust Street) is open Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm and Saturday 8am-5pm.

CDC Testing Criteria guidelines have recently changed to allow more testing:

  • Presence of fever (above 100.4) and/or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest) and/or GI symptoms AND Contact with someone who has tested positive or
  • Health care worker or
  • Resident or recent discharge from a long-term care facility or
  • Chronic Medical Condition (Diabetes, Heart Disease, Chronic Lung Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease) or
  • Immune compromised (including pregnancy)

As of today, we have tested 36 people at Valor Health that have met these criteria.

As per https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ there are currently 3 positive cases in Gem County.

Test results may take some time to come in. State lab results are taking 1-3 days and commercial labs are taking 2-4 days.

Throughout the country, agencies are working to provide more testing options and availability. If these opportunities become available to us, we will communicate updated testing information to you. We will continue to test high-priority patients at this time, following the guidelines listed. Given there is currently no treatment beyond your own immune system, we ask that patients with mild symptoms stay home, take precautions from spreading to others and take care of yourself. Here is a great reference for “taking care of yourself while sick” https://youtu.be/lPolorAsk4M or Healthwise.org.  If you need additional guidance or care, please reach out to us, as we are here for you. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we serve our community during this difficult time.

Outpatient Laboratory Service Hours- update 3/28/2020

Valor Health Outpatient Lab service hours have changed due to COVID-19.  Hours for outpatient lab services (labs that are ordered through primary care and specialty clinics) will now be open Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm. Lab services will continue to be available for Urgent Care, Emergency Department, and Med/Surg Patients.

All patients will be screened before receiving VH services and upon entry of any VH location.

First Gem County COVID-19 Case Detected…– update 3/27/2020

Triage Tent Hours– update 3/27/2020

The Respiratory Illness Triage Tent located at 1102 E Locust Street (Valor Health Urgent Care) will be open tomorrow, Saturday 8am-5pm.

Valor Health No Visitor Protocol- update 3/26/2020

Valor Health has instituted a highly restrictive visitation protocol to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. This action is consistent with public health and CDC guidelines and in the best interest of our colleagues, patients, providers, and community.

Across the Valor Health organization, a ‘NO VISITOR’ procedure will be enforced.
There are limited exceptions to this protocol.
All visitors will be screened for the following:
· Have you had any signs of a respiratory infection? Cough, Fever (100.4+), Shortness of Breath?
· In the last 14 days have been in contact with a confirmed or investigated case of COVID-19?
· Have you traveled within the last 14 days outside of Idaho or the US or in areas with sustained community transmission?

Patient Exceptions Include ( All visitors must be over the age of 14 )
• OB Patients- May have ONE significant other in the room. May have ONE
additional birth support person for labor and delivery only. No rotation of family members is allowed.
• Pediatric Patients – May have ONE parent, guardian, or adult advocate in the room. Rotation is allowed for parents only.
• Critically Ill Patients – May have ONE designated support person at the bedside or in the room. No rotation of family members will be allowed.
• End of Life Patients – May have TWO support persons at the bedside. Rotation of only immediate family members will be allowed.
• Patients with a durable power of attorney or legal guardian that don’t meet the above criteria – ONLY that person can be in the patient’s room.
• Clinic, Lab, or Radiology Patients- If patient requires assistance, one support person may escort the patient to and from the modality waiting areas.

Telemedicine / Virtual Appointments at Valor Health EMC and Specialty Medicine- update 3/25/2020

The Governor of Idaho has issued a Stay at Home order for the State of Idaho except for necessary services, with some medical care being a necessary service. Valor Health is ready to be able to continue to care for patients while focusing on patient, staff and provider safety but it may look a little different than it does today.  With the world of technology, we are standing up “virtual care” as an option for patient care visits with our Family Medicine providers and Specialty/Surgeons that can be done in the comfort of your own home.

What does this mean for our existing patients? We are reviewing schedules and evaluating if an appointment/visit can be done virtually if patient needs to be assessed in person and the urgency of the visit.  We will continue to be open and seeing patients in our clinic(s) based on urgency of the situation and needing to see patients in person for the best medical care.  For others, you may receive a call asking to visit with the provider “virtually” and we will talk you through how to make that work.

We are still accepting new patients. We will continue to accept new patients and evaluate based on the criteria above if need to be seen in person or evaluated “virtually”.  Call (208) 365-3561 to learn more about the services we offer or to speak to our friendly staff.

Reminder:  Urgent Care will continue to see walk-in patients 7 days a week and provide screening/testing for “respiratory illness” patients in the Triage Tent (in front of Urgent Care at 1102 E. Locust St.) on Monday thru Friday, 8 am to 7 pm and Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Using the digital age to our advantage during COVID-19: Valor Health EMC preparing for virtual visits with patients beginning this week.

Valor Health Elective Procedures- update 3/23/2020

In the best interest of staff, patients, and our community, Valor Health has made the decision to suspend most elective procedures, effective immediately. The decision was made by Valor Health Administration and medical staff Monday morning as a proactive measure to preserve medical equipment and staff resources.

There are certain procedures that the surgeons feel are more urgent and will require immediate attention. This is at the discretion of your surgeon, so please have that conversation with them at your next appointment.

Should you already have a procedure scheduled with your surgeon, please wait for a phone call from the Surgical Services Manager regarding your procedure and your options going forward. You may contact the Surgical Services Department at (208) 901-3276 if you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming surgery.

CDC and CMS recommend limiting and suspending elective surgeries and procedures in order to conserve PPE and ventilator resources, as well as limit exposure to patients and staff. https://www.cms.gov/files/document/31820-cms-adult-elective-surgery-and-procedures-recommendations.pdf

Triage Tent Hours- Update 3/21/2020

The Respiratory Illness Triage Tent will be open this Sunday, March 22, 2020, from 8 am – 3 pm at 1102 E Locust Street, Emmett (Valor Health Urgent Care/ Emmett Medical Center).

Evaluation of Elective Procedures and Routine Ambulatory Visits- update 03/20/2020

Valor Health continues to collaborate closely with regional health systems, working together to care for our population.  A key component of that effort is centered on proactively preserving medical supplies (personal protective equipment, masks, gloves, etc.).   Currently, Valor Health is evaluating elective procedures and routine ambulatory visits at Valor Health facilities according to federal recommendations. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-releases-recommendations-adult-elective-surgeries-non-essential-medical-surgical-and-dental

We are currently not in need of donations, but if you have questions or would like more information about donating medical supplies during this time, please contact community@valorhealth.org.

Respiratory Illness Screening Hours Extended and New Car Waiting Area for Surgery and Specialty Clinic- update 3/19/2020

Extended Respiratory Illness Screening Hours: Based on the positive response, from patients and the community, in providing screening and testing (if applicable) for respiratory illnesses, as well as preventing potential spread of respiratory infections to other patients,  we are extending hours for the respiratory illness screening tent in front of Urgent Care this Friday and Saturday. 

Updated Hours:

  • Friday, March 20th– 8am-7pm
  • Saturday, March 21st– 8am-5pm
  • Sunday, March 22nd – 8am-3pm
  • Monday- Thursday- 8am-7pm

Location:  Valor Health Urgent Care/Emmett Medical Center, 1102 E Locust St., Emmett

Car Waiting Area for Surgery and Specialty Clinic: In order to maintain social distancing and reduce potential exposure in our waiting area at the Surgery and Specialty Clinic, we ask that patients wait in their vehicles in the Specialty Clinic parking lot.  We will have someone to greet you when you pull in, complete your paperwork and let you know when we can have you go in to see the doctor without having to wait in the waiting room.  All patients will continue to be screened for fever, cough, and risk factors.  If you have a fever and new or worsening cough, we would ask to reschedule and/or be screened.  Calling ahead is appreciated.

Location:  Valor Health Surgical and Specialty Clinic, 1024 E Locust St., Emmett (208) 365-6004

Triage Tent- update 3/18/2020

Beginning 3/17/2020, Valor Health established a Respiratory Illness Triage Tent, located at 1102 E Locust Street.

Patients that are experiencing fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing AND had known exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 patient or travel to highly infected areas OR is a healthcare worker OR is a resident of a long-term care facility should present at the tent for screening and testing (if necessary). Testing is available for patients meeting established CDC criteria.

*These criteria are based on most current CDC Guidelines as well as consistency with community approach and are subject to change based on need in the community and/or availability of testing.

Based on limitations in testing resources, we are following the CDC Guidelines for testing** at this point in time. 

Clinical Features   Epidemiologic Risk
Fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath)     ANDAny person, including healthcare personnel, who has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset
Fever and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization   AND A history of travel from affected geographic areas, within 14 days of symptom onset
Fever with severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia, ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) requiring hospitalization and without an alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza).     ANDNo identified source of exposure

**Will I have to pay to be tested for coronavirus?  – update 4/10/2020

Valor Health will charge $51.33 for COVID-19 tests. For those who are insured, please verify plan coverage and member cost-share information with your health insurance company. We will continuously provide updates on our site as more developments and information are released from government agencies. We appreciate your patience during this national emergency.

Triage Tent– update 3/17/2020

There are many conditions circulating in our communities right now, i.e. influenza, strep throat, allergies, that have similar symptoms to Coronavirus.  To be extra cautious in preventing the spread of infection to higher-risk patients e.g. elderly, pregnant and those with chronic diseases in our clinics and in the community, we have a number of options to protect you and others.

  1. If you have fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat and not improving or had known exposure to influenza, strep or COVID-19 contacts or area or travel, encourage to call 208-365-3561 and ask to speak to Triage Nurse prior to coming in person.  There is a triage nurse available 24/7.
  2. We have established a “respiratory illness” triage tent for screening and testing (as applicable – see clarification on testing recommendations below).  This is located in the front parking lot of Urgent Care/ Emmett Medical Center at 1102 E Locust Street.   We ask anyone arriving in person with fever, cough, sneezing, and sore throat to be triaged in the tent.  Please note: If you arrive needing medical care, you will be directed appropriately (i.e.: immediate attention to ED).  If you present and don’t meet the criteria for testing, you will be sent home to conserve resources.

The triage tent will be staffed starting Wednesday, March 18th from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Monday through Thursday and 8 am to 5 p.m. Fridays.  As of now, the triage tent will not be open on the weekends.  We will look to expand/or contract these hours based on demand and need.


Temporary Visitor Precautions- update 3/16/2020

For the protection of our patients and staff, Valor Health has enacted a limited visitor policy across our campus, effective immediately.  Main entrances and emergency department doors will remain open.  Other access points may be locked.  All exits will be accessible.  Visitors will be screened by staff on-hand at entrances. Visitors will be limited to the following:

  • Essential visitors only
  • Maximum of one (1) visitor per patient
  • No visitor under the age of 14
  • Visitors wishing to wait for patients are advised to do so in their personal vehicle