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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Idaho's First COVID-19-Only Care Center Opens In Twin Falls

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Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio
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Twin Falls Manor opened its doors in late April to care for patients affected by COVID-19

One long-term care facility is the first of its kind in Idaho — it will care for only patients who have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have symptoms of coronavirus.

 

The 80-bed facility, Twin Falls Manor, opened its doors in late April in Twin Falls, KTVB first reported.  

 

Long-term care centers in Idaho, and across the country, have been epicenters for the virus' spread. To control outbreaks among these vulnerable populations, some facilities, including in Connecticut and Los Angeles, have grouped infected people together.

 

“What Twin Falls Manor provides is a way for us to treat and care for those residents in a situation where they won’t have an impact on other residents,” said John Gochnour, the chief operating officer of The Pennant Group, which owns Twin Falls Manor.

 

Gochnour said patients don't necessarily need a positive test result to be admitted — they can receive care if they've been exposed or have symptoms. Nursing homes can choose to send residents presumed to have the virus to the Twin Falls facility to avoid outbreaks and hospitals can discharge patients there if they no longer need acute care. Twin Falls Manor staff aren’t allowed to work at other facilities to control the spread, as many long-term care workers are employed by multiple care centers.

 

The Pennant Group, which owns more than 100 long-term care facilities in the West and one more in Idaho, worked closely with the state to get this facility up and running quickly. It was a matter of weeks, Gochnour said, from coming up with the idea, to getting the center licensed, to treating its first patient on April 30.

 
As of Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Twin Falls Manor said there was one patient at the facility waiting for a second negative test in order to be released, one patient had just arrived that morning and one was scheduled to be admitted on Wednesday. Gochnour said the company is working closely with hospitals in the Magic Valley, but it's also prepared to receive patients from elsewhere in Idaho.

When there’s no longer a need, Gochnour said Twin Falls Manor will transition to serving non-Covid-positive patients. 

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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