St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals & Clinics are working to manage this rapidly evolving situation. Please read.

The North Central Health District has a hotline dedicated to assisting the public. If you have any questions about coronavirus or think you may be displaying symptoms, call 208-748-0400 or 1-866-736-6632.  Please call this number before visiting a physician’s office or emergency department.

Think you may have coronavirus? Here’s what to do.

  • Process for Screening for COVID-19 (as of 3/2/2020)
    • If you have:Fever (greater than 100.4) and lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing) and have traveled to affected areas within the previous 14 days or have had close contact with lab-confirmed COVID-19 patient within previous 14 days, please call the North Central Health District hotline at 208-748-0400or 1-866-736-6632.If you believe you have Coronavirus/COVID-19 based on meeting all of these criteria and need emergency care, please call the Emergency Department prior to arrival at (208) 476-4555 in Orofino or 208-962-3251 in Cottonwood. Staff will direct you what to do, which may mean staying in your car until staff can meet you outside.


St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals & Clinics are actively working on preparedness for COVID-19/Coronavirus. The situation is rapidly changing.

Guidelines to the public:

  • Avoid the emergency room unless it’s essential. The emergency room is trying to limit any possible exposure and serve those with critical needs.
  • Stay home if you’re sick – even if symptoms are mild.
  • Practice good personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into your elbow, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

As of right now, our policy is for NO visitors EXCEPT in the following circumstances:

  • Obstetric patients may have one partner and one birth support person accompany them.
    • No children under the age of 16                         
  • Patients who are under the age of 18
    • May have one visitor, or parents or guardians
  • For the Nursery:
    • Birth parent plus one significant other
  • Patients who are at the end-of-life
    • May have 2 visitors

We reserve the right to deny access to ANY visitor that appears unhealthy, is displaying symptoms of sickness or is running a fever.

The most up to date information on this rapidly changing situation can be found on the CDC website.

You can also receive Idaho-specific updates at

Important to note about the illness:

  • Most people with COVID-19 will have mild illness
  • Not everyone needs to be tested and testing is not yet widely available
  • We are actively working on plans to care for patients with severe coronavirus
  • High-risk patients for severe coronavirus disease are older and have comorbidities (other health issues)


The state laboratory makes the determination on when to accept samples for testing based on the CDC criteria due to the limited number of test kits currently available.

St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals & Clinics are working closely with the North Central Health District and Kootenai Health on preparedness.

To see the most up to date information for Idaho please visit:

About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Latest Updates on this Outbreak from the CDC
There is an ongoing investigation to determine more about this outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
Latest Updates on this Outbreak from the CDC

What you need to know:

What you need to know:

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by Dr. Kelly McGrath

This fall and winter we will face a viral enemy that has the ability to kill tens of thousands of Americans in a short period of time. Some of the deaths will be due to the direct impact of the virus while other associated deaths will be due to heart attacks, severe pneumonias and other illnesses that follow in its wake. This is a virus that we can transmit to others even 24-48 hours before we have symptoms. It can infect people of all ages but disproportionately affects the elderly, those with chronic conditions and those who are medically vulnerable. Does this sounds like a familiar story? It probably does although this time we are talking instead about the influenza virus.
The most effective ways to reduce becoming infected by the influenza virus are similar to those we are using for the coronavirus. They include covering your sneezes and coughs with your elbow, avoiding shaking hands, frequent handwashing, avoiding contact with others who might be sick and, if you are sick, to stay away from others. Hopefully, these are measures we are already following to prevent spread of Covid 19. These will be helpful tools as well to prevent illness from influenza.
The good news about influenza is that we have an additional tool that we do not have for the coronavirus: a proven flu vaccine. It is recommended that all of us older than 6 months of age be vaccinated for the seasonal influenza viruses with a flu vaccination. Since the flu virus changes every year, the protection from previous flu vaccines will not cover us for this year’s circulating strains of influenza. For that reason, to be protected, receiving this year’s flu vaccine is highly recommended. The vaccine is effective in reducing our chances of being infected by the influenza virus or, if we do get infected, our symptoms will be milder than if we had not received the vaccine.
This year, there is an additional important reason to get the influenza vaccine. Since symptoms of influenza are nearly identical to those of Covid 19, it will be extremely difficult to determine if a person is infected with Covid 19 or the influenza virus. It will require more testing, precautions and will burn through precious resources to sort through patients who are ill. Also, since some individuals become critically ill or at least ill enough to require hospitalization, they will require the same set of resources that are needed to take care of patients infected with Covid 19. This creates the risk to all of us in that the healthcare system of North Idaho and Eastern Washington could become stressed beyond capacity. This will compromise the system’s ability to treat other ill patients including those with heart attacks, cancer, strokes, traumatic injuries and other serious illnesses. This is what some have called the “Twin-demic” of coronavirus and influenza virus. Again, the best way to protect the safety net of our regional healthcare systems is to not get sick in the first place
In an effort to make vaccinating for influenza in our community easier and more accessible, Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics is reaching out to several area employers to deliver the vaccine directly to employees in their place of work. CVHC also will be hosting some flu vaccination clinics. Also, this year, to reduce exposure to others and to make it easy to receive your flu vaccine, CVHC will be offering a “drive through” vaccination clinic. This will enable patients to get vaccinated without even having to even leave their car. The first clinic will be held Saturday, October 3rd from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 the Orofino Health Center.
Please protect yourself, others and the readiness of our healthcare system by getting your flu vaccine this fall.
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To help our communities stay safe & healthy we will be hosting minimal-contact Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinics. Our first one is for ages 19 and up. FREE Health Checks will be available too! ... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago  ·  

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St. Mary's Hospital & Clinics has an opening for a full time Environmental Services (Housekeeping) position at our Cottonwood location! This position is a full time position and includes health/dental benefits and a generous Paid Time Off package. Starting salary is $13.00/hr. Some weekends are required. If you, or someone you know, is interested, please go to this link to fill out an application. We look forward to meeting you! #Lifeisshort #WorksomewhereAwesome #smhcvhc
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by Dr. Phil Petersen

I’m tired, as are all of you. I’m tired of the COVID pandemic. I’m tired of not being able to do all the things I would like to do. (This last week was originally going to be a Canadian wilderness canoe trip for us, but the closed border cancelled that plan.) I’m tired of not being able to go hug the people I care about. Of not being able to socialize as we used to do. I’ve gotten used to wearing a mask whenever I go to the store, but I admit, it’s gotten a little old as well.
I was horrified when the headlines read that over a thousand people had died from this virus. Now as the number lost is nearing 200,000, it is mind numbing. Most, but not all, of those lost are grandparents, an important and endearing segment of our society.
I am tired of getting on a daily basis some communication of a false and harmful idea. I am saddened that our country has not come together in the way it should have to control this pandemic. I would like for all of the political spins to stop.
The end does not appear to be near. But when the COVID pandemic is behind us, I would like for all of us to still be intact and healthy, both physically and mentally.
The first thing is for us to all still be here when this pandemic is over. We have not lost anyone to the virus in Clearwater County, and if we can maintain that record we can be very proud of our community. If we can put the mask on, and be washing our hands thinking that we are helping to save Grandma and Grandpa, we can wear the mask proudly and feel good about wearing it.
We can’t take our Canadian wilderness canoe trip, but we are fortunate to live in an area where we can safely go outdoors for recreation. We should be doing that, getting our exercise, and enjoying ourselves. That is where we can socialize safely, talking to our neighbors in their yards as we take our daily walk or at a picnic on the river bank. This is the time to read that book we have always wanted to read, try that new hobby we have been thinking about.
We need to be sure we concentrate on the things we can do, not focus on the idea of having restrictions. I am proud of our community. We have a lot of dedicated very smart citizens. I am convinced that with our actions, we can get through this pandemic, still here, still healthy physically and mentally.
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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