Nez Perce Tribe
COVID-19 testing was conducted at Kamiah Nimiipuu Health (NMPH) on Saturday, July 4. One hundred and one tests were conducted. At this time one test returned positive and 86 are still pending. The remaining test results are expected in approximately 8-10 days.
The delay in processing of the pending tests is due to the increase of COVID-19 testing in the region. Additionally, Nimiipuu Health is still awaiting the test results from the testing that occurred on June 29. Due to the holiday, those test results were also delayed. Upon receipt of the pending test results, Nimiipuu Health staff will be notifying each patient of their testing result as quickly as possible. Education will be provided on next steps, as necessary, for each patient.
Two types of testing were available. For symptomatic patients, they used the ID NOW test, which allows for same day results. For asymptomatic patients, nasopharyngeal swabs were used and sent out to Quest laboratories for processing.
The testing at Nimiipuu Health was conducted following the rise in COVID-19 cases in the region. Based upon information that there was an exposure in Kamiah, it was deemed necessary to provide mass testing access onsite. “Our number one concern is public safety. The sooner we can gather information on the severity of the situation, the better we can address the issues,” stated Nimiipuu Health Medical Director, R. Kim Hartwig.
As the pandemic continues to evolve, Nimiipuu Health Medical staff continue to work diligently to keep up on the most current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “As we continue to learn about this novel virus we have to adjust our protocols and recommendations accordingly. Though much is still not known, we know more than we did back in January,” stated Dr. Hartwig. “A majority of our education is referenced from the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. While we recognize it can be challenging for the general public to stay informed of all the changes; as service providers, we take on the responsibility of being aware so we can strive to inform our patients the best we can.”
With the rise in positive COVID-19 cases, it is strongly encouraged for everyone to continue practicing the recommended safety protocols. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. This can be accomplished by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask while out in public, washing/sanitizing your hands often, and monitoring your health daily. If you feel sick, please stay home and call your medical provider.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate. Self-isolation can discontinue when you have gone at least three days with no fever and respiratory symptoms have improved and it has been ten days since symptoms first appeared. As a reminder, any person that tests positive for COVID-19 is required to follow the self-isolation guidelines prescribed by the medical provider. The Nez Perce Tribal Police Department has the authority to ensure COVID-19 positive individuals are abiding the self-isolation guidelines.