Nimiipuu Health confirms additional positive COVID-19 tests

Pictured: Sleeping Chief Mountain, a legend in Nez Perce culture.(Photo: Jack McNeel)

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Additional testing conducted May 2 on the Nez Perce Reservation

News Release

Nez Perce Tribe

On May 2, 2020 the Nimiipuu Health clinic in Lapwai conducted additional testing as a result of the two positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that were confirmed on Friday, May 1, 2020. While performing 28 tests, the clinic confirmed ten additional positive tests. There are now a total of 12 positive cases on the Nez Perce Reservation.

It is believed that all positive cases of COVID-19 are related, and at this time there is no implication of community spread of the COVID-19 virus. Nimiipuu Health staff have developed testing protocols and will be testing only those individuals that meet the recommended level of priority. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, only individuals with symptoms will be tested.

“There are circles of exposure. If you think of a pebble dropping into a pond, the pebble creates a series of waves and the wave ring closest to the pebble is the highest risk of people whom we are testing. If one of those people in the first ring tests positive, each of them create their own ring of contacts. You now have the appearance of a pond with sprinkling rain falling onto it,” stated Nimiipuu Health Medical Director, Dr. R. Kim Hartwig.

Patients needing to be seen at Nimiipuu Health will be required to wear a mask. Nimiipuu Health will continue to ask individuals to call (208) 843-2271 prior to coming in with COVID-19 like symptoms, so staff can adequately prepare.

Nimiipuu Health will be enacting additional practices and making adjustments for how patients in need of testing, or other medical care, will be processed. All routine appointments for the week of May 4-May 8, have been postponed.

“This batch of testing illustrates the importance of social distancing during this time. Please be diligent with hand washing, covering your cough and sneeze, wearing a mask when you are out in public and remaining home when you are ill. We need to remain cohesive and strong. Nimiipuu Health is providing an excellent level of care,” Dr. Hartwig concluded.

Nez Perce Tribe treaty logo - B&w small
(Image: Nez Perce Tribe)
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