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St. John's Health COVID-19 FAQ

Common Coronavirus Questions

Review the FAQ's below for answers to common coronavirus-related questions at St. John's Health.

My Health

I have a cough, fever, or other COVID-19 symptoms. What should I do?

Call 307-739-4898, option 3. If you are feeling ill with flu-like symptoms, we are able to evaluate you on our nurse line and via a telehealth visit with one our providers. If we determine you should be tested for coronavirus, we may send a Home Health nurse to your residence or provide you with instructions to be tested by appointment in our medical tent.

The hotline is available:

Monday-Friday: 8:30 am-6:30 pm

Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 am-4:30 pm

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate to reduce the spread of illness to others. This includes individuals who have been tested for COVID-19, regardless of results. Self-isolation can end 10 days after symptom onset and after fever/symptoms have been gone for at least 24 hours. People who have severe symptoms or who are immunocompromised need to self-isolate for 20 days (and 24 hours after fever/symptoms resolve).

I am having difficulty breathing. What should I do?

If you are having trouble breathing or another medical emergency, call 911 or go to St. John’s Emergency Department at 625 E Broadway. Call 307-739-4898, option 1, for instructions before you arrive.

What should I do if I’ve been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19?

If you know you have been in direct contact (less than 6 feet for a sustained period of time) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please call 307-739-4898, option 3. You will need quarantine for 14 days, the incubation period to develop symptoms. If you haven’t had first-degree contact (for instance, if you are a friend of a friend of someone who has COVID-19), do not contact the hotline or Public Health. See information below.

If the person to whom you have been exposed lives or works in Teton County, WY, and you do not have symptoms, you should wait to be contacted by public health contact tracers. After interviewing you, they will refer you for testing if appropriate.

If the exposure was with a person from outside the county, contact your physician or the hotline at 307.739.4898 x3 for evaluation.

Keep in mind that regardless of your test results, you will need to quarantine for 14 days due to the incubation period of COVID-19.

I’m a college student and need a test to return to campus. Can I request a test locally?

College and preparatory school students who are required by their schools to document a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to their out-of-area campus are now eligible for testing. Requires Teton County, WY resident identification and documentation of school testing requirements. University of Wyoming students are required to be tested via the University and therefore are not eligible.Call the COVID hotline at 307.739.4898 ext. 3.

I’m a close contact, but I had a negative test. Now what?

You will still need to quarantine for 14 days. This is because you can develop symptoms anywhere from 2-14 days from your last exposure with a positive individual. If your test was negative, that means that on the date of your test you were not infectious, but that status could change over the 14-day period.

What do quarantine and isolation mean?

People in quarantine or isolation should stay home, separate themselves from others in their household, and only go out for medical appointments.

What should I do if I’m a second- or third-degree contact (friend of a friend of a friend, etc.) of someone who tested positive?

Please do not contact the hotline or the Teton County Health Department. Maintain social distancing, check your temperature multiple times a day and monitor your symptoms for cough, fever, sore throat, loss of sense of taste or small, or shortness of breath.

How can I tell if my symptoms are COVID-19?

For online screening tools, go to www.cdc.gov or go to the App Store or Google Play to download the COVID-19 app, developed by Apple in partnership with the CDC and FEMA.

Or, call the St. John’s Health COVID-19 line at 307-739-4898, option 3. We will be able to evaluate you on our nurse line and via a telehealth visit with one of our providers, if appropriate.

I don’t have symptoms and I haven’t been in contact with anyone who tested positive. But I’m anxious, I’m traveling somewhere that requires a test, or I recently arrived by airplane. Can I request a COVID-19 test?

You can be tested if our providers determine you meet testing criteria after you call our hotline and are evaluated by one of our providers. You can also be tested if public health contact tracers have identified you in their investigation of positive COVID cases in our community and refer you for testing based on their assessment of your risk of having been infected (see earlier question).

If you have a physician order for a COVID test, you will be required to meet the established criteria to be tested at St. John’s Health.

We understand that some people may want to be tested who do not meet the eligibility criteria. With public health officials, we continue to explore ways to expand access to tests in our community, including lobbying state and federal officials for assistance. As the situation changes, we will change our eligibility criteria and keep you updated.

How much does a test cost?

The price for the test is $195. We submit claims for testing to the individual’s insurance company. If you are uninsured or underinsured, and you have symptoms or are a first-degree contact of someone who tested positive, call Teton County Public Health at 307.733.6401. You may qualify for a voucher for a free test.

When and how will I get test results?

All test results will be delivered via your patient portal (stjohns.health/patients-visitors/patient-portals). Individuals having surgical procedures at St. John’s Health may expect COVID-19 test results within 24 hours. All other patients may expect results in 7 days, subject to change. If you’re a new patient, please sign up for the portal during registration, and a link with instructions will be emailed to you. If you haven’t received it, please check your spam folder. If you still cannot find it, please call 877-621-8014 for help.

If you have tested positive, you will also receive a phone call from your provider or the Teton County Health Department.

How can I find out more about contact tracing?

All close contacts to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 are identified through the contact tracing process, which is conducted by the Teton County Health Department. This process determines all the places a person has been as well as the people with whom they have been in contact. The Health Department will get in touch with all close contacts within 72 hours of a person's positive COVID-19 test.

The Teton County Health Department’s contact tracing webpage has more information as well as frequently asked questions.

Can I request a COVID-19 antibody test?

It is critical at this time that you do not rely on antibody testing to relax your compliance with the hygiene and physical distancing guidelines and orders. If you have been reading about new local antibody testing options and have questions about their value, please become educated about their risks and limitations.

A positive antibody test result may suggest to you that you have immunity to coronavirus when, in fact, there is a high risk you are still vulnerable AND able to infect loved ones and others. This is due to a high rate of false positives in the currently available tests. A scenario of multiple hundreds of false positives in our community would be a very dangerous situation.

There are also risks associated with true positives. Though we presume that the presence of antibodies marks immunity to infection by the virus, that has not yet been established conclusively for COVID-19.

We also do not know how strong any immunity may be, what the chances of reinfection truly are, how severe reinfection may be, or how long any immunity may last.

Based on these limitations, you simply must not rely on a positive antibody test result to influence your personal decisions about how to avoid contracting COVID-19 or spreading it to others.

What should I do about my elective procedures, regular appointments, and screenings?

Patient and staff health and safety are our top priority. We are able to see patients via telehealth virtual visits and in our hospital and clinics, following CDC safety guidelines. Please talk to your physician to schedule your appointments, screenings and procedures. Your physician will help determine the most appropriate care setting for you. We are testing all patients prior to surgical procedures.

Where can I learn about the incidence of COVID-19 in Teton County?

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St. John's Preparedness

What are the hospital’s plans to isolate COVID-19 patients to reduce the risk of spreading disease?

St. John’s has made preparations to quickly convert many additional patient rooms into negative air pressure rooms in order isolate highly infections patients and prevent room-to-room air contamination. Staff taking care of patients with confirmed COVID-19 disease follow all appropriate guidelines for using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

What equipment and supplies are needed?

In addition to appropriate facilities and PPE, described above, there are specific equipment and supplies that are also necessary for taking care of COVID-19 patients. Some patients with severe illness require ventilators for breathing support. St. John’s Health has equipment allowing us to ventilate 54 patients. On a daily basis, we are monitoring our supply needs and orders. PPE is being preserved so that it can be used in the most appropriate areas. With leadership from local organizations and Keegan Pfeil, RN, the community has volunteered to create masks and gowns that can be used to help St. John’s preserve supplies necessary for COVID-related patients. We are also accepting donations of unused PPE, including N95 masks, standard masks, commercial masks, face shields, googles, non-powdered latex-free gloves, and unopened hand sanitizer. Please bring any donated items to the main entrance.

What are the plans for staffing?

St. John’s has identified over 80 employees and many physicians with Critical Care experience, including staff who are trained to use ventilators. We have built new staffing plans to enable these employees to be moved from their current roles into critical care roles. These individuals are currently participating in additional training to meet the needs of our COVID-19 patients.

Will larger hospitals in the region be able to receive patient transfers from St. John’s?

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls (EIRMC) and several hospitals in the Wasatch Range have made a commitment to be available for necessary transfers of St. John’s Health patients. We continue to transfer patients based on clinical decisions made by our providers on a case-by-case basis. Our goal is to keep patients close to home when appropriate and receive them back to St. John’s Health or the community as soon as possible.

What special precautions are being taken for the Living Center?

We have taken special precautions to protect our vulnerable populations at the Living Center. Even before it was required by CDC, we closed the Living Center to visitors. So far, we have had no staff members or residents with COVID-19.

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Safety Precautions

What is St. John’s Health doing to keep staff safe?

In addition to reducing exposure to ill patients through phone and telehealth visits, St. John’s has implemented many protocols to keep staff safe, including reducing exposure, temperature and symptom monitoring, addressing travel concerns, returning to work, and specialized training in donning and doffing PPE gear.

Do the current town and county ordinances, orders, and recommendations affect St. John’s patients or employees?

No. Healthcare is an essential service, so employees can continue to come to work, and patients can come to the hospital.

What is the visitor policy?

Visitors to the hospital are limited at this time. Masks are required and everyone entering the hospital will be checked for temperature and symptoms.

PCU and Birth Center:

  • Only ONE designated visitor or companion per patient per day (both parents can visit if the patient is a child)
  • No visitors with COVID-19 symptoms or flu-like symptoms, cough, fever, or confirmed COVID-19
  • No visitors under age 18
  • All visitors must wash hands or use sanitizer with 60% alcohol before entering patient room

ICU and Emergency Department:

  • No visitors, except the following: One parent is allowed for a child. One caregiver is allowed for a patient who needs help communicating.

Living Center:

  • No visitors without prior arrangements. Please contact the Living Center directly at 307.739.7450.

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Ways to Help

What can I do to help St. John’s and our community?

  • The most important thing you can do now is to help flatten the curve.
  • Take care of yourself and your family. Stay at home. Practice physical and social distancing, handwashing, and not touching your face.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Sew standard masks
  • Make a financial donation to St. John’s Health Foundation, which has established a COVID-19 Response Fund.
  • Donate unused PPE (non-powdered latex-free gloves, standard masks, commercial masks, N95 masks, face shields, safety goggles, and unopened hand sanitizer) to St. John’s Health. Please bring them to the main lobby at 625 E. Broadway.
  • Contact the St. John’s Health Foundation at 307.739.7512 if you have questions about the donation of any item.

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