Southwest District Health Board of Health passes resolution supporting individuals’ abilities to make responsible decisions concerning their own health and well-being

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health Board of Health passes resolution supporting individuals’ abilities to make responsible decisions concerning their own health and well-being

CALDWELL, IDAHO – The Southwest District Health Board of Health met today, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, during a properly noticed Special Meeting to consider a Resolution brought forward for Board consideration in an effort to clarify the health district’s support of its communities’ abilities to make responsible decisions regarding their own health and safety. The resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote of the board members. The resolution may be viewed at the following URL under general guidance: https://phd3.idaho.gov/document-repository/#1614887236055-ef3e771d-7231.

“Since the onset of COVID-19, Southwest District Health has served as a community resource to provide assistance, education, and support needed to help inform decisions when requested. It is the position of Southwest District Health, that individuals, business owners, and bodies of government, including schools, are free to make their own decisions about what, if any, measures they choose to take to protect their health and the health of their families, students, or patrons. Individuals, business owners, and bodies of government are responsible and accountable for the decisions they make,” said District Director Nikki Zogg.  

“I feel confident that with each day that passes we are returning to a place of normalcy as the risk for exposure to COVID-19 decreases, vaccinations are readily available, and treatments for COVID-19 continue to improve. I am cautiously optimistic that we will continue in this direction, and I encourage our community to stay vigilant. I express my gratitude for the efforts of our communities over the past year to navigate a very challenging time,” added Zogg.

If you have questions about COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines, please call the Southwest District Health COVID-19 Call Center at 208-455-5411. The Call Center is available Monday through Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM (MST), except for observed holidays. 

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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 Pauses the Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health Pauses the Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Effective immediately the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is paused at all Southwest District Health clinics across the six-county jurisdiction. 

The decision was made by Southwest District Health (SWDH) following the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The recommendation was issued by the FDA and the CDC following severe adverse reactions that have been experienced by six individuals following vaccination with Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These situations are rare, and none of the six individuals that experienced severe adverse reactions were within SWDH’s jurisdiction. SWDH is taking a proactive response to help preserve the health and safety of the communities we serve.

People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.

If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, please call the Southwest District Health COVID-19 Call Center at 208-455-5411. The Call Center is available Monday through Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM (MST), except for observed holidays. 

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Media Contacts: 

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

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All Idahoans aged 16+ can now access COVID-19 vaccine in Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

All Idahoans aged 16+ can now access COVID-19 vaccine in Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Effective immediately, any Idaho residents 16 years and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in the six counties served by SWDH.

Of note, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for those ages 16 and 17. The Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines are both authorized for use in those 18-years and older.

The decision to expand access across the six-county region was based on the input provided by vaccine partners.

Making a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

An updated list of enrolled vaccine providers may be found on the SWDH website. The list is updated frequently as more providers are enrolled and begin receiving vaccine allocations or other changes.

Residents are encouraged to use the State’s vaccine pre-registration tool at covidvaccine.idaho.gov. The pre-registration tool allows Idahoans to be added to a list. That list is used by enrolled vaccine providers to directly connect with those currently eligible for vaccine.

If you need assistance by phone to navigate the State’s pre-registration tool or navigate the SWDH Enrolled Vaccine Provider list, or if you do not have internet access, please call the Southwest District Health COVID-19 Call Center 208-455-5411. The Call Center is available Monday through Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM (MST) except for observed holidays.

Information Resources

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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 COVID-19 Health Alert Level system retired; All Idahoans aged 45+ and those 16+ living in congregate settings can now access COVID-19 vaccine in Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health COVID-19 Health Alert Level system retired; All Idahoans aged 45+ and those 16+ living in congregate settings can now access COVID-19 vaccine in Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health’s (SWDH) Board of Health called for a special meeting Tuesday, March 16, during the regular Board of Health meeting. The special Board of Health meeting was held on Wednesday, March 24, to discuss the COVID-19 Health Alert Level system and finish carryover items from the March 16 meeting that was interrupted by a power outage. The Board of Health voted in favor of retiring the existing COVID-19 Health Alert Level system. The COVID-19 Health Alert Level system categorized community risk of exposure to COVID-19 by county based on metrics approved by the Board of Health last summer. The system also included recommendations from SWDH to decrease the risk of exposure when living, working or visiting a particular county in SWDH’s jurisdiction. The change went into effect immediately.

Southwest District Health’s Board of Health voted to transition to another means of keeping the public informed. The metric data that had been previously used to inform the health alert levels will continue to be available, but no color, alert level, or recommendations will be associated with the data. District staff will make these data available on SWDH’s website and through weekly social media posts. Southwest District Health staff will continue to provide education and consultation to the public and their partners in accordance with state and CDC guidance. Please visit the following web address for the updated COVID-19 dashboard: https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/#1593641650446-8e5454e5-d5d1.

“I appreciate the trust our communities place in us as their public health agency. From the onset of COVID-19, we have worked together to take the right steps at the right time to protect the health of our communities. The health alert levels were designed as a step toward providing community-specific information about risk for exposure to COVID-19 and recommendations for limiting that risk. The next step now is to retire this system and use other resources in place to help inform the public, businesses, schools, and other institutions. Our staff remain dedicated to assisting and supporting our communities and reaching our vision of “A healthier Southwest Idaho”, said Nikki Zogg, SWDH District Director.

All Idahoans aged 45+ and those 16+ living in congregate settings can now access COVID-19 vaccine in Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties

Effective immediately, any Idaho residents 45 years and older and those 16 years and older living in congregate settings are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in the six counties served by SWDH. The congregate living setting, as recommended by the Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee and approved by Governor Little, include:

  • Emergency shelters and transitional housing (if not already included)
  • Dormitory housing for workers
  • Correctional and detention facilities (adult)
  • Group housing for persons in substance misuse treatment or recovery or with mental illness who do not require hospitalization
  • Residential treatment or recovery facility
  • Dormitory housing for students

Of note, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for those ages 16 and 17; the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines are authorized for use in those 18-years and older.

The decision to expand access across the six-county region was based on the input provided by vaccine partners.

Making a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

An updated list of enrolled vaccine providers may be found on the SWDH website. The list is updated frequently as more providers are enrolled and begin receiving vaccine allocations or other changes occur.

Residents are encouraged to use the State’s vaccine pre-registration tool at covidvaccine.idaho.gov. The pre-registration tool allows Idahoans to be added to a list that is used by enrolled vaccine providers to directly connect with those currently eligible for vaccine.

If you need assistance by phone to navigate the State’s pre-registration tool or assistance to navigate the SWDH Enrolled Vaccine Provider list, or if you do not have internet access, please call the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center 208-455-5411. The Call Center is available Monday through Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM (MST) with the exception of observed holidays.

Information Resources

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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 Investigating Confirmed Norovirus in Caldwell Casual Dining Establishment; Numerous Instances of Customer Gastrointestinal Upset Reported

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health Investigating Confirmed Norovirus in Caldwell Casual Dining Establishment; Numerous Instances of Customer Gastrointestinal Upset Reported

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Nearly 25 known individuals have reported experiencing gastro-intestinal illness symptoms to Southwest District Health (SWDH) since Friday, March 19. SWDH is currently investigating each reported illness to help determine the exact source and has confirmed 1 positive case of Norovirus. So far, there is a strong link to the Subway at 319 N 10th Ave in Caldwell, individuals that are reporting symptoms visited the establishment or received food from this location March 16-19.

The Subway involved is working cooperatively with SWDH following suspected presence of Norovirus and instituted mitigation measures to halt the spread of the virus. Following the inspection by SWDH, it was determined that the facility was following all guidance and recommendations.

Norovirus outbreaks are caused by a group of related viruses that account for more than 90 percent of gastrointestinal illness outbreaks in the United States each year. Noroviruses can be found in stool and vomit and are highly contagious. They are known for sweeping through close quarters and infecting a large number of people. Symptoms of Norovirus illness usually begin about 24 to 48 hours after close exposure to Norovirus and can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure and include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Low-grade fever or none at all

Symptoms

People may feel very sick and vomit multiple times and/or have many loose stools a day. Most people get better within 1 or 2 days, and they have no long-term health effects related to their illness. However, shedding of the virus may continue for 1-2 weeks. At times, affected individuals, usually the very young and elderly may become dehydrated as they are unable to drink enough liquids to replace the liquids lost because of vomiting and diarrhea.

Prevention

The spread of Norovirus can be prevented by practicing proper hand hygiene. Important strategies include washing hands with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating and preparing or handling food. The community should be aware that with these reported outbreak individuals should use good hand hygiene and stay home if sick until 48 to 72 hours without symptoms.

If You Have Symptoms 

SWDH encourages anyone who is experiencing symptoms of fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and/or vomiting they believe could be related to something they ate, to talk to their health care provider. Anyone who is ill with these symptoms should stay home to help prevent the spread to others. It is important to practice proper hand hygiene, cleaning surfaces, and not preparing food for others if possible as these are common routes of transmission. If you believe you were exposed, you should contact the SWDH reporting line about your illness by phone at 208-455-5442

For more information on Norovirus, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html

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Media Contacts: 

Media Contacts:               Ashley Anderson    Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

Katrina Williams     Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Southwest District Health Jurisdiction Continues Declining Daily Incidence Rates; Anticipated Changes to Health Alert Level Data Metrics Following Board of Health Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health Jurisdiction Continues Declining Daily Incidence Rates; Anticipated Changes to Health Alert Level Data Metrics Following Board of Health Meeting

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health (SWDH) continues to see declining daily incidence rates and decreasing positivity rates based on data available for the date range February 28, 2021 – March 13, 2021. The health alert designation for the six counties remains unchanged from the previous two weeks. Adams, Gem, Payette, and Washington counties are at the gray COVID-19 health alert level. Canyon County and Owyhee County are at the yellow health alert level. As of March 13, 2021, the daily district-wide incidence rate per 10,000 population is 0.929.

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, SWDH Board of Health approved changing the metrics in determining COVID-19 health alert levels for counties within its six-county jurisdiction. The metrics approved at this meeting are not reflected in this weeks’ county health alert level update but will be adopted for future health alert level updates. The changes include adjustments to the case fatality rate and hospitalization rate metrics, removal of the access to testing, known source, and elected officials input metrics, and addition of vaccination rate by county metric.

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

ADAMS COUNTY Health Alert Level: Gray

Adams County will remain in the gray health alert level, with a decreasing daily incidence rate and low positivity rate. Adams County saw a daily COVID-19 incidence of 0.366 daily new cases per 10,000 people and a positivity rate of 2.50%.  Only two cases were reported in Adams County during this two-week range. In efforts to protect the confidentiality of these individuals, the Adams County Health Alert Level Dashboard will not be publicly available this week.

CANYON COUNTY Health Alert Level: Yellow

Canyon County will remain in the yellow health alert level with a low daily incidence rate and positivity rate, and with multiple cluster outbreaks within schools. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 1.01 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is steadily decreasing. Canyon County has a positivity rate of 4.21%, which increased slightly but still meets our goal of 5.00% or less. Only 60.67% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are seeing cases exposed through social gatherings, workplaces and households. Six congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks.[1] Multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting cluster outbreaks, with transmission occurring within the schools.

GEM COUNTY Health Alert Level: Gray

Gem County will remain in the gray health alert level, due to a decreasing daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 0.36 daily cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. The test positivity rate for Gem County is 2.48% which is decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. No congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing sustained COVID-19 outbreaks. 50.00% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is decreasing and indicates community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to workplaces or household exposure. No cases of COVID-19 were reported in Gem County.

OWYHEE COUNTY Health Alert Level: Yellow

Owyhee County will remain in the yellow health alert level this week, with an increasing daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 1.27 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing. The test positivity rate is 7.41% which is increasing and does not meet our goal of 5.00% or less. 63.16% of cases can identify an exposure source, which is decreasing and indicates community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from households and school exposure. One school in Owyhee County is reporting a cluster outbreak, with transmission occurring within the school.

PAYETTE COUNTY Health Alert Level: Gray

Payette County will remain in the gray health alert level, with a low daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 0.69 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is increasing slightly. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 1.75%, which is also increasing but still meets our goal of 5.00% or less. 61.11% of cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is decreasing and indicates community transmission. Southwest District Health epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks through workplaces and household exposure. Multiple sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 were reported in Payette County schools, with no evidence of a cluster outbreak.

WASHINGTON COUNTY Health Alert Level: Gray

Washington County will remain in the gray health alert level, due to a low daily incidence rate, and positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 0.56 daily cases per 10,000 people, which increased slightly but is still very low. The positivity rate for Washington County is 2.35%, which is increasing but still meets our goal of 5.00% or less. 40.00% of cases in Washington County were able to identify a potential exposure source, which points to community transmission. One school is reporting sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19, with no evidence of a cluster outbreak.

[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.”

 WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT

The following table represents data on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases among students and staff attending in-person classes where investigations began between March 7, 2021 – March 13, 2021.

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 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for observed holidays) 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 opens vaccine appointments to newly eligible groups on March 15; Resources launched for businesses in subgroup 2.3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health opens vaccine appointments to newly eligible groups on March 15; Resources launched for businesses in subgroup 2.3

CALDWELL, IDAHO – On March 15th, 2021, individuals in subgroups 2.3, priority group 3, and subgroup 3.1 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Southwest District Health (SWDH) is encouraging those eligible in Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccine subgroup 3.1 and previous groups to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccine using the State of Idaho’s recently launched vaccine pre-registration tool at https://covidvaccine.idaho.gov/.

Last week, Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) Vaccine Prioritization released an updated timeline as to when priority group 3 and subsequent subgroups will be eligible to be vaccinated. These updates may be found at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CURRENT-COVID-19-Vaccine-Advisory-Committee-CVAC-Vaccine-Prioritization-031021.pdf.

Resources for Subgroup 2.3 Businesses and Employees

Businesses and employees of businesses that are currently eligible for vaccine under subgroup 2.3 may visit SWDH’s resource page at https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine-priority-group-2-3-resources-for-businesses .

Finding a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

A list of  enrolled vaccine providers  currently receiving vaccine allocations in each county SWDH serves is available at https://phd3.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/COVID-19-Vaccine-Location-R3-List-02222021-Eng-Span-PLUS-FRPP-locations-2.pdf. Southwest District Health staff cannot make appointments for these vaccine providers; however, the SWDH COVID-19 call center is available to assist residents without internet access or who need help navigating a website. See More Information section below for links to enrolled vaccine provider lists and call center details.

A newly-launched vaccine pre-registry tool in Idaho will also help connect more eligible Idahoans to COVID-19 vaccine appointments within their communities. The pre-registry tool allows residents to add their name and contact information to a list that is then accessible by enrolled vaccine providers. Providers reach out to those on the list to coordinate vaccine appointments. For more information and to pre-register for your vaccine, visit  https://covidvaccine.idaho.gov/.

We appreciate your patience throughout the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out process. We understand wait time for individuals to be contacted by a vaccine provider may be frustrating. Rest assured, you will be contacted by a vaccine provider when there is availability. Remember, please answer calls or texts from vaccine providers so that your appointment can be made. If you do not confirm your pre-registration and book an appointment with a provider, you may miss that initial opportunity to receive your COVID-19 vaccine. We ask for your continued patience, cooperation, and understanding.

High Demand for the New One-dose Vaccine Far Outpaces Supply

During first week of March, the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson (Janssen, J&J) vaccine was allocated to Idaho’s health districts. 3,700 doses were allocated to CDH’s counties; 2,100 hundred doses were allocated among SWDH’s counties. The vaccine arrived on Thursday, March 4, 2021. However, additional allocations are not anticipated until later this month. Due to unknown receipt dates and allocation amounts of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, of SWDH is unable to offer individuals the option to choose the vaccine they prefer when appointments are booked.

Southwest District Health strongly encourages its community members who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine to keep vaccination appointments and receive the vaccine that is available to them. We hope that as supply increases, opportunities for community members to choose which vaccine they receive when booking an appointment with a provider will be available.

More Information

Southwest District Health serves Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties

·        Call Center: 208-455-5411 – Open M-F, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

·        Vaccine web page: phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/#Vaccine

·        Region 3 Vaccine Providers https://phd3.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/COVID-19-Vaccine-Location-R3-List-02222021-Eng-Span-PLUS-FRPP-locations-2.pdf

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 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for observed holidays) 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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Counties Remain in Gray and Yellow Health Alert Levels; Counties Continue Declining Daily Incidence Rates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Counties Remain in Gray and Yellow Health Alert Levels; Counties Continue Declining Daily Incidence Rates

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health (SWDH) continues to see declining daily incidence rates and decreasing positivity rates. This is based on data available for the date range February 21, 2021 – March 6, 2021. The health alert designation for the 6-counties remain unchanged from last week. Adams, Gem, Payette, and Washington counties are at the gray COVID-19 health alert level. Canyon County and Owyhee County are at the yellow health alert level. As of March 6, 2021, the daily district-wide incidence rate per 10,000 population is 1.04.

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

ADAMS COUNTY Health Alert Level: Gray
Adams County will remain in the gray health alert level, with a decreasing daily incidence rate and low positivity rate. Adams County saw a daily COVID-19 incidence of 1.01 daily new cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing slightly.[1] Most of the new cases can be traced to household exposure. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show a significant reduction in community transmission in Adams County, with 100.00% of cases able to identify a potential exposure source. During the first week of the two-week date range, no positive cases were reported in Adams County, resulting in a positivity rate of 0.00%. One sporadic, imported case of COVID-19 was reported in an Adams County school, with no evidence of a cluster outbreak.

CANYON COUNTY Health Alert Level: Yellow

Canyon County will remain in the yellow health alert level due to a decreasing daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 1.19 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is steadily decreasing. Canyon County has a positivity rate of 3.53%, which is also decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. Only 61.64% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are seeing cases exposed through social gatherings, travel, workplaces and households. Six congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks.[2] Multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting cluster outbreaks, with transmission occurring within the schools.

GEM COUNTY Health Alert Level: Gray
Gem County will move to the gray health alert level, due to a decreasing daily incidence rate and an increasing positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 0.55 daily cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. The test positivity rate for Gem County is 6.12% which is increasing and just slightly above our goal of 5.00% or less. No congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing sustained COVID-19 outbreaks. 57.14% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is decreasing and indicates community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to workplaces or household exposure. No cases of COVID-19 were reported in Gem County.

OWYHEE COUNTY Health Alert Level: Yellow
Owyhee County will remain in the yellow health alert level this week, with an increasing daily incidence rate and a low positivity rate. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 1.03 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing. The test positivity rate is 1.94% which is decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. 80% of cases can identify an exposure source, which is increasing and indicates a reduction in community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from households, workplaces, and school exposure. One school in Owyhee County is reporting a cluster outbreak, with transmission occurring within the school.

PAYETTE COUNTY Health Alert Level: Gray
Payette County will remain in the gray health alert level, with a decreasing positivity rate and incidence rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 0.36 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 1.32%, which is also decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. 88.89% of cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is increasing and indicates a reduction in community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks through social gatherings and household exposure. Multiple sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 were reported in Payette County schools, with no evidence of a cluster outbreak.

WASHINGTON COUNTY Health Alert Level: Gray
Washington County will remain in the gray health alert level, due to a low daily incidence rate, and positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 0.49 daily cases per 10,000 people, which increased slightly but is still very low. The positivity rate for Washington County is 1.90%, which is decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. No cases in Washington County were able to identify a potential exposure source. This is concerning to SWDH epidemiologists. One sporadic, imported case of COVID-19 was reported in a Washington County school, with no evidence of a cluster outbreak.

WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT

The following table represents data on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases among students and staff attending in-person classes where investigations began between February 28, 2021 – March 6, 2021.

 

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 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for observed holidays) 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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Counties Continue Declining Daily Incidence Rates; UK Coronavirus Confirmed Within Southwest District Health’s Jurisdiction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Counties Continue Declining Daily Incidence Rates; UK Coronavirus Variant Confirmed Within Southwest District Health’s Jurisdiction

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health (SWDH) continues to see declining daily incidence rates and decreasing positivity rates. This is based on data available for the date range February 14, 2021 – February 27, 2021. Adams, Gem, Payette, and Washington counties are at the gray COVID-19 health alert level this week. Canyon County and Owyhee County are at the yellow health alert level this week. As of February 27, 2021, the daily district-wide incidence rate per 10,000 population is 1.10.

This week, SWDH has confirmed the presence of the United Kingdom (UK) Coronavirus (COVID-19) variant in its jurisdiction. Laboratory testing identified the B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom on Dec 14, 2020 but is estimated to have emerged in September of 2020.

Epidemiologists at Southwest District Health are working to identify any close contacts who were possibly exposed to this person. The individual has met CDC guidelines to leave isolation, which means they are no longer able to spread the disease to others.

The individual has been identified as a female, in her 70s, who has not travelled recently. Additional case-specific information about this individual is confidential and will not be released.

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

ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray

Adams County will remain in the gray health alert level, with a low incidence rate and decreasing positivity rate. Adams County saw a daily COVID-19 incidence of 1.68 daily new cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing slightly.[1] Most of the new cases can be traced to household exposure. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show a significant reduction in community transmission in Adams County, with 85.71% of cases able to identify a potential exposure source. Adams County has a test positivity rate of 2.94%, which meets our goal of 5.00% or less. No COVID-19 cases were reported in Adams County schools. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by the number of new cases in Adams County, but due to the nature of these cases, we do not believe they pose a significant risk to Adams County residents.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Yellow

Canyon County will remain in the yellow health alert level due to a decreasing daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 1.23 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is steadily decreasing. Canyon County has a positivity rate of 4.88%, which is also decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. Only 63.25% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are seeing cases exposed through social gatherings, travel, workplaces and households. Nine congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks.[2] Multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting cluster outbreaks, with transmission occurring within the schools.

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray

Gem County will move to the gray health alert level, due to a decreasing daily incidence rate and a low positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 0.75 daily cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. The test positivity rate for Gem County is 5.10% which is increasing and just slightly above our goal of 5.00% or less. One congregate care facilities in Gem County is facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 64.71% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which increased significantly but still indicates community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to household members. One sporadic, imported case of COVID-19 was reported in a Gem County school, with no evidence of a cluster outbreak.

OWYHEE COUNTY –  Health Alert Level: Yellow

Owyhee County will remain in the yellow health alert level this week, due to a high test positivity rate and concerns of community transmission. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 0.79 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing. The test positivity rate is 8.89% which is decreasing but still shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. 54.55% of cases can identify an exposure source, which is increasing and indicates sustained community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from household and school exposure. Multiple schools in Owyhee County are reporting cases of COVID-19, with evidence of a cluster outbreak in one school.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray

Payette County will remain in the gray health alert level, with a decreasing positivity rate and incidence rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 0.54 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 2.21%, which is also decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. 66.67% of cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is increasing but still indicates community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well as through household exposure. Multiple sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 were reported in Payette County schools, with no evidence of a cluster outbreak.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray

Washington County will remain in the gray health alert level, due to a decreasing daily incidence rate, and low positivity rate. There were only three cases of COVID-19 reported in Washington County during the two-week date range. In efforts to protect the privacy of these individuals, the Health Alert Level Dashboard will not include data relevant to Washington County. There are currently no cluster outbreaks in Washington County 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.”

WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT

The following table represents data on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases among students and staff attending in-person classes where investigations began between February 21, 2021 – February 27, 2021.

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 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for observed holidays) at 208-455-5411.

 # # #

Media Contacts: 

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

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For the First Time in 2021 Half of the Counties Within Southwest District Health’s Jurisdiction Reach Gray Alert Level

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For the First Time in 2021 Half of the Counties Within Southwest District Health’s Jurisdiction Reach Gray Alert Level

CALDWELL, IDAHO – For the first time this year, 3 of the 6 counties within Southwest District Health’s (SWDH) jurisdiction have reached the gray or routine risk category. SWDH continues to see declining daily incidence rates and decreasing positivity rates. This is based on data available for the date range February 7, 2021 –February 20, 2021. Adams, Payette, and Washington counties are at the gray COVID-19 health alert level this week. Canyon, Gem, and Owyhee counties are at the yellow health alert level this week. As of February 20, 2021, the daily district-wide incidence rate per 10,000 population is 1.29.

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. Each week, we see our communities’ resilience and determination to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we can see that we are trending in the right direction. Although half of the counties in the SWDH jurisdiction have reached the gray or routine alert level, it is more important than ever to continue safe practices to help bring all of our counties to this same level. Small things can make a big difference, here are things that you can do routinely to help your community reduce the spread of COVID-19:

• Wash hands frequently
• Cover cough and sneeze, and then wash your hands afterward
• Stay home when sick
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
• Put distance between yourself and people outside your home (at least 6 feet)

SWDH continues to strongly recommend cloth face covering (mask) use when in public places and interacting with others that live outside of your household. If you have received COVID-19 vaccination, it is important to
continue the practices listed above.

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

ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray
Adams County will move to the gray health alert level, with a low incidence rate and decreasing positivity rate. Adams County saw a daily COVID-19 incidence of 1.01 daily new cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing.1
Many of the new cases can be traced to household exposure. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show community transmission in Adams County, with 66.67% of cases able to identify a potential exposure source. No positive tests were reported in Adams County during the first week of the twoweek date range. One case of COVID-19 was reported in Adams County schools, with no evidence of
transmission within the school.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Yellow
Canyon County will remain in the yellow health alert level due to a decreasing daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 1.40 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is steadily decreasing. Canyon County has a positivity rate of 5.60%, which is also decreasing and nearing our goal of 5.00% or less. Only 62.18% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to community spread. SWDH investigators are seeing cases exposed through social gatherings, travel, workplaces and households. Eleven congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks.2 Multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting cluster outbreaks, with transmission occurring within the schools.

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Yellow
Gem County will remain the yellow health alert level, due to precautionary measures outlined in our board-approved Health Alert Level Guidelines as stated, “At least two full weeks will be spent in a Health Alert Level
before determinations to move to a lower less severe level (e.g., from High to Medium).” Gem County saw a decreasing incidence rate and positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 0.95 daily cases per
10,000 people which is decreasing. The test positivity rate for Gem County is 2.82% which is decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. Three congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing sustained COVID-19
outbreaks. 57.89% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is trending slightly up and indicates community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to households or workplace exposure. No cases of COVID-19 were reported in Gem County schools.

OWYHEE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Yellow
Owyhee County will remain in the yellow health alert level this week, due to an increasing daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 1.39 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing slightly. The test positivity rate is 13.21% which is increasing and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. 50.00% of cases can identify an exposure source, which is decreasing and indicates sustained community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from household and school exposure. Multiple schools in Owyhee County are reporting cluster outbreaks.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray
Payette County will move to the gray health alert level, with a decreasing positivity rate and incidence rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 0.93 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 3.72%, which is also decreasing and meets our goal of 5.00% or less. 65.22% of cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is increasing but still indicates community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well as through household exposure and social gatherings. One sporadic, imported case of COVID-19 was reported in a Payette County school, with no evidence of a cluster outbreak.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray
Washington County will move to the gray health alert level, due to a decreasing daily incidence rate, and low positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 0.49 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing. The positivity rate for Washington County is 4.59%, which is increasing but still meets our goal of 5.00% or less. 75.00% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is increasing and indicates a reduction in community transmission. Of the cases who could identify a potential exposure source, most were associated with household exposures. No cases of COVID-19 were reported in Washington County 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.”

WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT

The following table represents data on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases among students and staff attending in-person classes where investigations began between February 14, 2021 – February 20, 2021.

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 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for observed holidays) at 208-455-5411.

 # # #

Media Contacts: 

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

Read More
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