Nimiipuu Health

Photo: Nimiipuu Health

LAPWAI, ID - As of Friday, The Nez Perce Tribe's Nimiipuu Health Clinic has tested 137 individuals for the COVID-19 virus. According to a press release, of those tests, 17 have returned positive. All positive tests were from persons tested at the Lapwai clinic located in Nez Perce County. The ages of the individuals that tested positive range from ages 1 – 80. There have been no additional positive tests since May 11.

Since Nimiipuu Health confirmed its first positive COVID-19 test on May 1, the facility has ramped up testing. The medical staff started testing all patients, including asymptomatic patients, in an effort to gain perspective of the virus’ reach on the Nez Perce Reservation. There have been multiple asymptomatic individuals who have tested positive.

Based on more recent tests, it appears the virus now has "community spread" on the Nez Perce Reservation, where the source is unknown, and an individual will test positive without any known contact with a COVID-19 positive person.

“We want to test as many people as we can, provided testing kits and supplies remain available. These tests indicate the extent of the virus’ presence on the Reservation. Amongst several unknowns, we are striving to manage the situation as best we can,” stated Nimiipuu Health Medical Director, Kim Hartwig, M.D.