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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