Health alert levels remain unchanged across the six-county jurisdiction of Southwest District Health; Holiday COVID-19 safety reminders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Health alert levels remain unchanged across the six-county jurisdiction of Southwest District Health; Holiday COVID-19 safety reminders

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Daily incidence rates of COVID-19 remain at an elevated level across the district with a slight decline in incidence rate. This is based on data available for the date range December 13, 2020 – December 26, 2020. Currently, all six-counties within the jurisdiction of Public Health District 3 are at the red health alert level. As of December 26, 2020, the daily district-wide incident rate per 10,000 population is 6.27.

As we prepare to ring in the New Year, the safest way to celebrate is at home with the people who live with you or stay connected virtually with friends and family. Consider other activities to celebrate New Year’s, such as:

  • Have virtual celebrations with loved ones.
  • Plan a New Year’s party for the people who live with you.
  • Watch livestreamed New Year’s programming from your home.

If you’re celebrating New Year’s with people outside your household, make sure you take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (at least 2 arm’s length) apart.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Get a flu shot as soon as possible.
  • Please keep in mind the current Idaho Stage 2 Modified Stay Healthy order restrictions on gathering size, limiting gathering sizes to 10 individuals or less.

Thank you to residents of District 3 for continuing to follow current recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, all six counties in the district continue to experience community spread, which puts people living in and visiting these communities at higher risk for exposure. It is the goal of Southwest District Health to work our way back to a place where we have no community spread.

The information used in determining county health alert levels is provided below.

ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Adams County will remain in the red health alert level, with an increasing incidence rate, and a high percentage of cases resulting from community transmission. Adams County saw an increase in daily COVID-19 incidence, which brings the most recent incidence rate to 15.80 daily new cases per 10,000 people.  Some of these new cases can be traced to social and community gatherings, as well as workplace exposure. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show sustained community transmission in Adams County, as only 70.13% of cases can identify a potential exposure source. Additionally, the test positivity rate for Adams County is 12.96%, which is decreasing but still much higher than we would like to see. Primary schools in Adams County are on winter break, which limits the possibility of continued cluster outbreaks and transmission within schools. Sporadic cases among students are still being reported, with transmission occurring within households.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Canyon County will remain in the red health alert level due to an elevated COVID-19 daily incidence rate and high positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 6.32 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing but still much higher than we would like to see. Only 56.66% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are continuing to see cases exposed through community gatherings as well as in workplaces and households. Additionally, the test positivity rate in Canyon County is 15.82% which is trending down but still shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent than our data show. Eighteen congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks.  Healthcare facilities in Canyon County are postponing elective surgeries to conserve resources. Primary schools in Canyon County are on winter break, which limits the possibility of continued cluster outbreaks and transmission within schools. Sporadic cases among students are still being reported, with transmission occurring within households.

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Gem County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 5.60 daily cases per 10,000 people and a test positivity rate of 15.28%. While these metrics are trending down, they are still higher than we would like to see. Two congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 61.32% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to household exposure, workplaces, and community events. Primary schools in Gem County are on winter break, which limits the possibility of continued cluster outbreaks and transmission within schools. Sporadic cases among students are still being reported, with transmission occurring within households.

OWYHEE COUNTY –  Health Alert Level: Red
Owyhee County remains in the red health alert level, due to a high positivity rate, as well as evidence of community spread. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 4.59 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is trending in the right direction. Only 56.92% of cases can identify an exposure source, which points to sustained community transmission. Additionally, the test positivity rate is 18.40% which is trending up and shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than our data show. This is a primary reason that Owyhee County remains in the red health alert level. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from social gatherings, workplaces, and household exposure. Primary schools in Owyhee County are on winter break, which limits the possibility of continued cluster outbreaks and transmission within schools. Sporadic cases among students are still being reported, with transmission occurring within households.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an elevated COVID-19 daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 4.95 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. Only 48.06% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well community and social gatherings. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 13.15%, which is remaining elevated and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Primary schools in Payette County are on winter break, which limits the possibility of continued cluster outbreaks and transmission within schools. Sporadic cases among students are still being reported, with transmission occurring within households.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Washington County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an elevated daily incidence rate and a high positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 7.59 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing but still extremely high. The positivity rate for Washington County is 16.30%, which is decreasing but still shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 59.80% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring primarily within households and workplaces. Primary schools in Washington County are on winter break, which limits the possibility of continued cluster outbreaks and transmission within schools. Sporadic cases among students are still being reported, with transmission occurring within households.
WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT

During the week of December 20, 2020 – December 26, 2020, all schools within SWDH are on winter break. No in-person or remote learning took place during this week

The following table represents data on the number of staff and students currently in quarantine and isolation on the day the data are pulled and may not account for individuals who have been released from quarantine or are just entering quarantine.

Those in quarantine have been identified as a close contact of a positive case and are being asked to stay home for 14 days to monitor for symptoms. Those in isolation are currently positive for COVID-19 and are asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms to prevent further spread of the infection.

Region 3 data are available on the Southwest District Health website at https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/.  Please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information. Questions may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 208-455-5411.

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Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson           Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Southwest District Health continues COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort; Moderna vaccine received

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CALDWELL, IDAHO –  Southwest District Health staff continue to coordinate the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The first shipment of the EUA-approved Moderna mRNA vaccine was received by the District on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, for a total of 2,900 doses. Last week, Southwest District Health staff successfully distributed the initial round of approximately 1,950 doses of Pfizer vaccine received.

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccines are only available for individuals indicated in Tier 1 as set out in Idaho’s vaccine rollout plan. Those who are currently in the qualifying Tier 1 group are as follows:

  • Healthcare personnel, that includes hospital staff essential for care of COVID-19 patients and maintaining hospital capacity (includes support staff as well as clinical staff)
  • Outpatient clinic staff essential for care of COVID-19 patients and maintaining hospital capacity
  • Long-term care facility staff and residents
  • Home care providers for adults 65 years of age and older or for other adults or children with high-risk medical conditions
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Outpatient and inpatient medical staff not already included above who are unable to telework
  • Dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants
  • Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy aides
  • Public health and emergency management response workers who are unable to telework

Individuals who fall within the above referenced qualifying Tier 1 group are advised to reach out to their employer to inquire about vaccine availability. If employers are unable to answer questions regarding vaccine availability, the Southwest District Health COVID-19 Call Center is available to field questions Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM (with the exception of observed holidays) 208-455-5411.

COVID-19 vaccinations are not available at this time for the general public. After Tier 1 individuals have been offered the vaccine, Southwest District Health will begin providing vaccine to Tier 2 following Idaho’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee’s (CVAC) recommendations that have been approved by Governor Little. Members of the general public seeking COVID-19 vaccinations can watch for updates from Southwest District Health for information about when and where vaccines will be available.

It is important to note that there are no governmental entities in Idaho requiring anyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While public health supports the COVID-19 vaccine, individuals can choose whether or not to pursue the vaccine as a protection measure.

Healthcare providers, including dental and pharmacy professionals who fit within the Tier 1 priority group interested in the COVID-19 vaccine, are invited to reach out to SWDH staff by e-mailing COVIDvaccine@phd3.idaho.gov or calling 208-593-1412.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, please visit: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

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Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson           Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Health alert levels remain unchanged across the six-county jurisdiction of Southwest District Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Health alert levels remain unchanged across the six-county jurisdiction of Southwest District Health

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Daily incidence rates of COVID-19 remain at an elevated level across the district. This is based on data available for the date range December 6, 2020 – December 19, 2020. Currently, all six-counties within the jurisdiction of Public Health District 3 are at the red health alert level. As of December 19, 2020, the daily district-wide incident rate per 10,000 population is 8.12.

As a reminder, all six counties in the district are now experiencing community spread, which puts people living in and visiting these communities at higher risk for exposure. It is the goal of Southwest District Health to work our way back to a place where we have no community spread. This is an achievable goal that can be met by making a choice. The choice to socially distance from people outside your household, wearing a face-covering, staying home when sick or exposed to COVID-19, and washing your hands frequently.

The information used in determining county health alert levels is provided below.

ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Adams County will remain in the red health alert level, with an increasing incidence rate, and a high percentage of cases resulting from community transmission. Adams County saw an increase in daily COVID-19 incidence, which brings the most recent incidence rate to 8.74 daily new cases per 10,000 people.[1] Some of these new cases can be traced to travel and community events. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show sustained community transmission in Adams County, as only 74.36% of cases can identify a potential exposure source. Additionally, the test positivity rate for Adams County is 19.63%, which more than doubled over the past week. Multiple schools in Adams County are reporting sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with one school experiencing a cluster outbreak.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Canyon County will remain in the red health alert level due to an increasing COVID-19 daily incidence rate and high positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 8.40 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is increasing slightly. Only 59.41% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are continuing to see cases exposed through social gatherings as well as in workplaces and households. Additionally, the test positivity rate in Canyon County is 19.48%, which is increasing and concerning SWDH epidemiologists. Eighteen congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks.[2] Healthcare facilities in Canyon County are postponing elective surgeries to conserve resources and are periodically unable to take new patients in their emergency departments, and behavioral health, pediatric, and intensive care units. Additionally, multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting a cluster outbreak, with transmission occurring within the schools.

[1] The incidence rate measures how many cases occur each day, and standardizes this value by population. SWDH measures the daily incidence rate per 10,000 population using the following calculation: daily confirmed and probable cases are averaged over the two-week period. This value is divided by the county population, and then multiplied by 10,000 to find the daily incidence per 10,000.
[2] According to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, “Long-term care facility means a nursing home, assisted living facility, or intermediate care facility. There are just over 400 long-term care facilities in Idaho. Outbreak means at least one lab-confirmed COVID-19-positive case associated with a facility.”

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Gem County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 9.35 daily cases per 10,000 people and a test positivity rate of 22.49%. While these metrics are trending down, they are still much higher than we would like to see. Three congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 63.44% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to household exposure, workplaces, out of state travel, and local businesses. Multiple schools in Gem County are reporting cluster outbreaks with transmission occurring within the schools.

OWYHEE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Owyhee County remains in the red health alert level, due to a high COVID-19 daily incidence rate and positivity rate, as well as evidence of community spread. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 5.56 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing but remains elevated. Only 61.54% of cases can identify an exposure source, which points to sustained community transmission. Additionally, the test positivity rate is 13.66% which is trending down but still shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than our data show. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from social gatherings, workplaces, and household exposure. Multiple schools in Owyhee County are reporting sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with a cluster outbreak within one school.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an elevated COVID-19 daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 5.61 daily new cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing. Only 52.56% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well as travel. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 19.83%, which is remaining elevated and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Many Payette County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with no evidence of transmission within the schools.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Washington County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high daily incidence rate and a high positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 8.30 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing but still extremely high. The positivity rate for Washington County is 22.62%, which is decreasing, but still shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 66.97% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring primarily within households and workplaces. Multiple Washington County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with no evidence of transmission within the schools.

WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT
The following table represents data on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases among students and staff where investigations began between December 13, 2020 and December 19, 2020.

The following table represents data on the number of staff and students currently in quarantine and isolation on the day the data are pulled and may not account for individuals who have been released from quarantine or are just entering quarantine.
Those in quarantine have been identified as a close contact of a positive case and are being asked to stay home for 14 days to monitor for symptoms. Those in isolation are currently positive for COVID-19 and are asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms to prevent further spread of the infection.

Region 3 data are available on the Southwest District Health website at https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/.  Please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information. Questions may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 208-455-5411.

# # #

Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson           Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Southwest District Health successfully distributes first round of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received to medical clinic, hospital partners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health successfully distributes first round of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received to medical clinic, hospital partners

CALDWELL, IDAHO –  Southwest District Health staff successfully distributed the initial round of approximately 1,950 doses of Pfizer vaccine received. Vaccine distribution began at 7:00 a.m. this morning and involved coordination with major community partner medical clinics and hospitals from across the six-county region Southwest District Health serves.

Idaho’s vaccine rollout plans instruct local health districts to prioritize vaccine for local hospital staff and outpatient clinic staff who are providing care for COVID-19 patients. Hospital staff are essential for the care of COVID-19 patients and maintaining hospital capacity. After those facilities have been offered the vaccine, the remaining doses will be offered to additional groups following Idaho’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee’s (CVAC) recommendations.

The medical clinic and hospital partners who received this first round of vaccine will be responsible for administering the vaccine to their eligible Tier 1 staff. “Providers who picked up the vaccine were so very excited to receive it and be part of vaccine administration in this historic roll out” said Molly Smith, Southwest District Health Training and Exercise Coordinator.

Additional vaccine is expected next week and distribution will involve similar coordination as staff reach out to the region’s providers to ensure accessibility to the vaccine. “I really commend SWDH staff who have worked so hard to go the distance to identify smaller practices and ensure equitable distribution with future vaccine received,” said Clay Roscoe, MD, Southwest District Health Medical Director.

Independent practices that fit within the Phase 1 priority group interested in assistance with the COVID-19 vaccination are invited to reach out to SWDH staff by calling Molly Smith at (208) 455-5372 or TJ Wilson at (208) 455-5326.

Members of the general public seeking COVID-19 vaccinations can watch for updates from Southwest District Health for information about when and where vaccines will be available. It is important to note that there are no governmental entities in Idaho requiring anyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While public health supports the COVID-19 vaccine, individuals can choose whether or not to pursue the vaccine as a protection measure.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, please visit: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

# # #

Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson           Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Southwest District Health announces expanded COVID-19 testing services available through the end of the year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health announces expanded COVID-19 testing services available through the end of the year

CALDWELL, IDAHO –  Southwest District Health has expanded COVID-19 testing service availability through the end of the year for individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. No cost COVID-19 drive-through testing services will be available Monday through Saturday at Southwest District Health’s Caldwell facility located at 13307 Miami Lane, Caldwell, Idaho, 83607. There will be no testing services available on December 25, 2020.

To schedule an appointment for drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Caldwell facility, please call (208) 296-1030.

In addition, Southwest District Health is partnering with Crush the Curve to improve testing accessibility to outlying counties by providing accessible, free COVID-19 testing for individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Funding provided by the State of Idaho make this partnership possible through the end of December 2020.

Testing Dates, Location, and Address Information:

Butte View Complex parking lot; 400 S. Pine Street, Emmett, Idaho

Dates

  • December 19-20, 2020 8am – 2pm
  • December 26-27, 2020   8am – 2pm

Costs

  • For individuals WITH insurance, the lab processing your test will bill your insurance provider. All co-pays are waived through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. If for any reason your provider denies coverage, the State of Idaho will cover the cost of the test. Individuals will not receive a bill for services.
  • For individuals WITHOUT insurance, the federal Families First Coronavirus Act covers the cost of testing completely.

How to make an appointment

  • Go to CrushTheCurveIdaho.com and take the assessment. The assessment will ask for insurance information. At the end of the online assessment, you will be given a case number. Please take that number with you to your appointment.

When to expect results

  • An email with test results will be sent 24 – 36 hours after your test arrives at the lab.

For more information, please contact Lori Sperry at Southwest District Health at (208) 371-3197.

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Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson           Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Red health alert level maintained across the six-county jurisdiction of Southwest District Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Red health alert level maintained across the six-county jurisdiction of Southwest District Health

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Daily incidence rates of COVID-19 remain at an elevated level across the district. This is based on data available for the date-range November 29, 2020 – December 12, 2020. All six counties within the jurisdiction of Public Health District 3 are at the red health alert level. As of December 12, 2020, the daily district-wide incident rate per 10,000 is 8.21.

As a reminder, all six counties in the district continue to experience community spread, which puts people living in and visiting these communities at higher risk for exposure. It is the goal of Southwest District Health to work our way back to a place where we have no community spread. This is an achievable goal that can be met by making a choice. The choice to socially distance from people outside your household, wearing a face-covering, staying home when sick or exposed to COVID-19, and washing your hands frequently.

The information used in determining county health alert levels is listed below.

ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Adams County will remain in the red health alert level, with a decreasing incidence rate, and a high percentage of cases resulting from community transmission. Adams County saw a decrease in daily COVID-19 incidence, which brings the most recent incidence rate to 4.87 daily new cases per 10,000 people.1 Some of these new cases can be traced to travel and community events. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show sustained community transmission in Adams County, as only 50.00% of cases can identify a potential exposure source. Additionally, the test positivity rate for Adams County is 7.35% which is trending down. While there have been some COVID-19 cases in Adams County schools, there is no evidence of cluster outbreaks or transmission within the schools.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Canyon County will remain in the red health alert level due to a high COVID-19 daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 8.32 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is trending down slightly. Only 61.54% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are continuing to see cases exposed through social and community gatherings as well as in workplaces and households. Additionally, the test positivity rate in Canyon County is 20.78% which is increasing and concerning SWDH epidemiologists. Eighteen congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks.2 Healthcare facilities in Canyon County are postponing elective surgeries to conserve resources. Additionally, multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting an outbreak or transmission within the school.

1 The incidence rate measures how many cases occur each day, and standardizes this value by population. SWDH measures the daily incidence rate per 10,000 population using the following calculation: daily confirmed and probable cases are averaged over the two-week period. This value is divided by the county population, and then multiplied by 10,000 to find the daily incidence per 10,000.
2 According to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, “Long-term care facility means a nursing home, assisted living facility, or intermediate care facility. There are just over 400 long-term care facilities in Idaho. Outbreak means at least one lab-confirmed COVID-19-positive case associated with a facility.”

 

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Gem County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 11.00 daily cases per 10,000 people and a test positivity rate of 22.58%. While these metrics are trending down, they are still much higher than we would like to see. Three congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 65.98% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to household exposure, workplaces, and social gatherings. Multiple schools in Gem County are reporting cluster outbreaks with transmission occurring within the schools.

OWYHEE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Owyhee County remains in the red health alert level, due to a high COVID-19 daily incidence rate, increasing positivity rate, and evidence of community spread. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 7.01 daily cases per 10,000 people, which remains elevated. Only 55.91% of cases can identify an exposure source, which points to sustained community transmission. Additionally, the test positivity rate is 32.16% which shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than our data show. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from social gatherings, workplaces, and travel exposure. Multiple schools in Owyhee County are reporting sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with a cluster outbreak within one school.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an elevated COVID-19 daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 6.59 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. Only 57.59% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well as social gatherings. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 20.33%, which is remaining elevated and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Many Payette County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with no evidence of transmission within the schools.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Washington County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high daily incidence rate and an increasingly high positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 9.63 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing but still extremely high. The positivity rate for Washington County is 30.95%, which increased dramatically and shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 67.20% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring primarily within households and through community transmission. Multiple Washington County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with transmission occurring within one school.

WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT
The following table represents data on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases among students and staff where investigations began between December 5, 2020 and December 12, 2020.

The following table represents data on the number of staff and students currently in quarantine and isolation on the day the data are pulled and may not account for individuals who have been released from quarantine or are just entering quarantine.

Those in quarantine have been identified as a close contact of a positive case and are being asked to stay home for 14 days to monitor for symptoms. Those in isolation are currently positive for COVID-19 and are asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms to prevent further spread of the infection.

Region 3 data are available on the Southwest District Health website at: https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/. Please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information. Questions may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 208-455-5411.

# # #

Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson           Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Adams County moved to red health alert level; Daily incidence rate maintained across the District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Adams County moved to red health alert level; Daily incidence rate maintained across the District

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Daily incidence rates of COVID-19 remain at an elevated level across the district. This is based on data available for the date-range November 22, 2020 – December 5, 2020. Adams County has moved to the red health alert level this week. Currently, all six-counties within the jurisdiction of Public Health District 3 are at the red health alert level. As of December 5, 2020, the daily district-wide incident rate per 10,000 is 9.22.
As a reminder, all six counties in the district are now experiencing community spread, which puts people living in and visiting these communities at higher risk for exposure. It is the goal of Southwest District Health to work our way back to a place where we have no community spread. This is an achievable goal that can be met by making a choice. The choice to socially distance from people outside your household, wearing a face-covering, staying home when sick or exposed to COVID-19, and washing your hands frequently.
The information used in determining county health alert levels is listed below.

ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Adams County will move to the red health alert level, with an increasing incidence rate and positivity rate. Adams County saw a 94% increase in daily COVID-19 incidence, which brings the most recent incidence rate to 5.55 daily new cases per 10,000 people.1 Many of these new cases can be traced to travel and community events. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show sustained community transmission in Adams County, as only 41.94% of cases can identify a potential exposure source. Additionally, the test positivity rate for Adams County is 15.22% which has nearly tripled from last week. While there have been some COVID-19 cases in Adams County schools, there is no evidence of cluster outbreaks or transmission within the schools.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Canyon County will remain in the red health alert level due to a high COVID-19 daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 8.93 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is trending up. Only 63.02% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are continuing to see cases exposed through social and community gatherings as well as in workplaces and households. Additionally, the test positivity rate in Canyon County remains elevated at 19.48% which is concerning SWDH epidemiologists. Sixteen congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks. Some healthcare facilities in Canyon County are nearing capacity for inpatient and ICU bed and have concerns about critical care staffing. Some facilities are postponing elective surgeries to conserve resources. Additionally, multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting an outbreak or transmission within the school. Nampa School District, Caldwell School District and some private/charter schools have transitioned to fully remote learning.

1 The incidence rate measures how many cases occur each day, and standardizes this value by population. SWDH measures the daily incidence rate per 10,000 population using the following calculation: daily confirmed and probable cases are averaged over the two-week period. This value is divided by the county population, and then multiplied by 10,000 to find the daily incidence per 10,000.

 

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Gem County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 13.88 daily cases per 10,000 people and a test positivity rate of 23.08%. Three congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 64.44% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is decreasing and points to community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to community gatherings, social gatherings, and local businesses. Multiple schools in Gem County are reporting cluster outbreaks with transmission occurring within the schools.

OWYHEE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Owyhee County remains in the red health alert level, due to a high COVID-19 daily incidence rate, increasing positivity rate, and evidence of community spread. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 10.81 daily cases per 10,000 people, which remains elevated. Only 48.03% of cases can identify an exposure source, which points to sustained community spread. Additionally, the test positivity rate is 30.92% which shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than our data shows. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from social gatherings and workplaces. Multiple schools in Owyhee County are reporting cluster outbreaks with transmission occurring within the schools.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an increasing COVID-19 daily incidence rate and an elevated positivity rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 8.17 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is increasing. Only 51.98% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well as social and community gatherings. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 21.39%, which is remaining elevated and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data shows. Many Payette County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with one school reporting a cluster outbreak.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Washington County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high daily incidence rate and an increasingly high positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 9.63 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing but still extremely high. The positivity rate for Washington County is 30.95%, which increased dramatically and shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than our data shows. Only 67.20% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring primarily within households and through community transmission. Multiple Washington County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with transmission occurring within one school.

WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT
The following table represents data on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases among students and staff where investigations began between November 29, 2020 and December 5, 2020.

The following table represents data on the number of staff and students currently in quarantine and isolation on the day the data are pulled and may not account for individuals who have been released from quarantine or are just entering quarantine.

Those in quarantine have been identified as a close contact of a positive case and are being asked to stay home for 14 days to monitor for symptoms. Those in isolation are currently positive for COVID-19 and are asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms to prevent further spread of the infection.

Region 3 data are available on the Southwest District Health website at: https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/. Please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information. Questions may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 208-455-5411 or publichealthidaho@phd3.idaho.gov.

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Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson          Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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COVID-19 Related Death Reporting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COVID-19 Related Death Reporting

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health COVID-19 Investigators presently are reviewing a list of twelve (12) COVID-19 related deaths received by the State of Idaho.

A COVID-19 death is defined by the State of Idaho as any certified death (a death certificate has been completed) stating COVID-19 was the cause of death or was a factor contributing to the cause of death. Confirmed COVID-19 deaths require a positive COVID-19 PCR test result. A probable COVID-19 death is one listing COVID-19 as the cause of death, or a factor contributing to the cause of death, but no PCR test result is available (though the individual may have had a rapid antigen test performed that was positive).

Please note that eleven (11) of these COVID-19 related deaths occurred within the entire month of November and one (1) death occurred in October, for a total of twelve (12) deaths that are not part of a typical weekly report, which currently averages 1-2 COVID-19 deaths per week that occur in the six-county Public Health District 3 region (Southwest District Health).

“Our thoughts and sympathies go out to everyone impacted by these recent COVID-19 deaths,” said District Director Nikki Zogg.

Southwest District Health urges all residents to make the personal choice to take proactive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19, including practicing physical distancing, wearing face coverings in public places where social distancing is hard to maintain, washing hands often, staying home when sick, and regularly cleaning often touched surfaces.

Questions may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 208-455-5411. Please refer to https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19 for the latest local COVID-19 numbers and data and https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information.

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Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson          Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Adams County meets criteria for community transmission; counties are unmoved from previous weeks’ health alert level designation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Adams County meets criteria for community transmission; counties are unmoved from previous weeks’ health alert level designation

 CALDWELL, IDAHO – This week, Southwest District Health has confirmed community spread for the first time in Adams County. All six counties in the district are now experiencing community spread, which puts people living in and visiting these communities at higher risk for exposure. It is the goal of Southwest District Health to work our way back to a place where we have no community spread. This is an achievable goal that can be met by making a choice. The choice to socially distance from people outside your household, wearing a face-covering, staying home when sick or exposed to COVID-19, and washing your hands frequently.

Daily incidence rates continue to increase across the majority of the district. This is based on data available for the date-range November 15, 2020 – November 28, 2020. Currently, Adams County remains at the yellow health alert level. The other five counties are unchanged at the red health alert level. The information used in determining county health alert levels is listed below.

ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Yellow

Adams County remains in the yellow health alert level, with an incidence rate of 2.86 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is increasing. Many of these new cases can be traced to travel and community events. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show that Adams County meets the criteria for community transmission, as only 40% of cases can identify a potential exposure source. There is no evidence of COVID-19 cases or cluster outbreaks in any Adams County schools.  

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red

Canyon County will remain in the red health alert level due to an increasing COVID-19 daily incidence rate and an increasing positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 8.90 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is trending up. Only 66.22% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are continuing to see cases exposed through social and community gatherings as well as in workplaces and households. Additionally, the test positivity rate in Canyon County has continued to increase to 21.02% which is concerning SWDH epidemiologists. Seventeen congregate living facilities are seeing cluster outbreaks. Some healthcare facilities in Canyon County are nearing capacity for inpatient and ICU beds and have concerns about critical care staffing. Some facilities are postponing elective surgeries to conserve resources. Additionally, multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting an outbreak or transmission within the school. Both Nampa School District and Caldwell School District will be transitioning fully to remote learning.

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red

Gem County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an increasing incidence rate and increasing positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 13.92 daily cases per 10,000 people and a test positivity rate of 25.97%. Three congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 70.99% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is trending down and points to community transmission. Additionally, local healthcare providers are concerned with staffing shortages as 16 healthcare providers have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past two weeks. Multiple schools in Gem County are reporting cluster outbreaks with transmission occurring within the schools.

OWYHEE COUNTY –  Health Alert Level: Red

Owyhee County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an increasing COVID-19 daily incidence rate, very high positivity rate, and evidence of community spread. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 11.66 daily cases per 10,000 people, which continues to increase dramatically. Only 55.17% of cases can identify an exposure source, which points to sustained community spread. Additionally, the test positivity rate is 28.21% which shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data indicate. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from travel and workplaces. Multiple schools in Owyhee County are reporting cluster outbreaks with transmission occurring within the schools.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red

Payette County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an increasing COVID-19 daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 7.81 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is increasing. Only 51.72% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 28.53%, which is increasing and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data indicate. Many Payette County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with one school reporting a cluster outbreak.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red

Washington County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an increasing daily incidence rate and a very high positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 11.32 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing. The positivity rate for Washington County is 21.87%, which is decreasing but is still much higher than we would like to see. 68.97% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring from social gatherings or workplaces and then spreading throughout households. Multiple Washington County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with transmission occurring within one school.

WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT

The following table represents data on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases among students and staff where investigations began between November 22, 2020 and November 28, 2020.

The following table represents data on the number of staff and students currently in quarantine and isolation on the day the data are pulled and may not account for individuals who have been released from quarantine or are just entering quarantine.

Those in quarantine have been identified as a close contact of a positive case and are being asked to stay home for 14 days to monitor for symptoms. Those in isolation are currently positive for COVID-19 and are asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms to prevent further spread of the infection.

Region 3 data are available on the Southwest District Health website at: https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/. Please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information. Questions may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 208-455-5411.

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Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson          Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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CYANOBACTERIA PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY LIFTED FOR BROWNLEE RESERVOIR

Public Health Advisory

CYANOBACTERIA PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY LIFTED FOR BROWNLEE RESERVOIR

 Southwest District Health, in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), has lifted the Cyanobacteria Health Advisory for Brownlee Reservoir issued on July 10, 2020 and amended on July 31, 2020. The initial health advisory was issued July 10, 2020 for the area of Woodhead Park. An amended health advisory was issued July 31, 2020 to expand the advisory for the entire reservoir.

DEQ officials monitor cyanobacteria and associated toxins where harmful algal blooms (HABs) are present and have confirmed that cyanobacteria levels at Brownlee Reservoir have returned to normal and toxin levels are below the safety threshold.

Other blooms may exist on this waterbody that have not been reported to DEQ or the health district. Water users should always exercise caution around water bodies with visible slime or surface scum or a foul odor. High concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria may cause illness to both humans and animals. Report any concerns to DEQ at 208.373.0550.

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/blue-green-algae/.

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Chase Cusack, DEQ                       208.373.0550               Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams, SWDH                208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

 

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