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St. Luke's to offer asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, vaccines for minors

New asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will be available at ten St. Luke's locations across Idaho and eastern Oregon starting on Thursday, April 8.
Credit: KTVB

BOISE, Idaho — St. Luke's Health System announced that it will begin offering asymptomatic COVID-19 testing starting later this week.

Nasal swab testing will be available through St. Luke's symptomatic specimen collection locations in Boise, Baker City, Fruitland, Jerome, Ketchum, McCall, Meridian, Mountain Home, Nampa and Twin Falls.

Dr. Laura McGeorge is St. Luke's System Service Line Medical Director Primary and Specialty Care. She says this is important for people who are worried about possible exposure to the virus.

"We've run almost a quarter million COVID tests thus far and have really focused on symptomatic patients," Dr. McGeorge said. "As we have capacity and as we are looking and hoping, as everyone is, that schools are opening up and the economy's opening up, we do want to offer the opportunity for people to get tested if they are not having symptoms."

People who can make an appointment starting April 8 include those with:

  • A known exposure to someone with coronavirus at school or work
  • Exposures identified in high-density or communal living
  • Other close contact exposures meeting CDC recommendations for testing
  • Pre- and post-travel testing needs

Testing appointments can be scheduled through myChart for any of the clinic locations.

People can also call St. Luke's COVID-19 hotline for instructions or assistance at (208) 381-9500. You must have an appointment to get tested. Walk-ins are not permitted.

Dr. McGeorge says the tests results are usually returned to patient the same day.

Officials says new high-capacity processers in Boise and Twin Falls allow lab teams to process up to 1,500 specimens a day.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments available for minors

The Pfizer vaccine is now available to all Idahoans, including those 16 and 17 years old. St. Luke's says families can now schedule an appointment. There are a few things to know.

Minors cannot consent for a COVID vaccine. They must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to provide consent at the time of the appointment. Written or verbal consent will need to be provided by a parent or legal guardian, if not present at the time of the appointment.

Minors also cannot schedule their own appointments in myChart. Parents or legal guardians with teen proxy access can schedule an appointment for the minor. To get teen proxy access, the teen will need to grant teen proxy access to their parent or legal guardian through their own myChart account.

Parents can schedule an appointment for their child without proxy access by calling 208-381-9500. Minors can schedule their own vaccine appointment by calling that same number, but they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to provide consent at the time of the appointment or provide written or verbal consent of a parent or legal guardian, if not present at the time of the appointment.

Dr. McGeorge says they are already seeing a lot of demand among young people who want to get vaccinated.

"This is going to be very, very helpful in reducing the spread the COVID spread throughout the community," she said.

St. Luke's offers the Pfizer vaccine at sites in Nampa, Meridian, Boise and Twin Falls.

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