First confirmed infection with coronavirus variant in SW Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

First confirmed infection with coronavirus variant in SW Idaho

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and Southwest District Health have confirmed the first known infection with a known variant of concern of the virus that causes COVID-19 in an adult male living in southwest Idaho.

Laboratory testing identified the B.1.351 variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first discovered in South Africa in late 2020. This is Idaho’s first identified infection with a known variant of concern of the COVID-19 virus. There have been 19 infections with this particular variant reported from 10 states. This person recently traveled internationally and is thought to have been exposed before returning to Idaho.

Epidemiologists at Southwest District Health are working with DHW to identify any close contacts who were possibly exposed to this person. Health officials will provide guidance to anyone identified as a close contact and will monitor them closely for symptoms.

Additional case-specific information about this individual is confidential and will not be released.

“We are not surprised to find this virus in Idaho” said Dr. Christine Hahn, medical director in the Division of Public Health. “As we just learned from Boise City’s wastewater testing program this week, variant strains have arrived in the state. We remind Idahoans to continue wearing masks, physically distancing, washing hands frequently, and staying home when ill. In addition to getting vaccinated when it becomes available for you, those actions are the best things we can do now.”

Idaho Public Health officials are actively investigating infections suspected to be caused by SARS-CoV-2 variants. The Idaho Bureau of Laboratories (IBL) continues to expand the number of Idaho samples being sequenced to identify emerging strains and better understand how the virus is spreading in the state.

This variant was identified among the first SARS-CoV-2 samples sequenced by IBL, which continues to work with clinical laboratories, public health districts, and providers to expand the number of Idaho samples being sequenced to identify emerging strains of concern and limit their spread.

Idaho has had 290 Idaho samples sequenced and published in national databases, which is how they are shared nationally. Eighty-six samples are in process, including 36 samples at IBL.

For Idaho-specific information about the novel coronavirus, please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.

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Media Contacts: 

Niki Forbing-Orr
Public Information Manager
Department of Health and Welfare
(208) 334-0668

Ashley Anderson
Public Information Officer
Southwest District Health
Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

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Southwest District Health Vaccine Scheduling Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health Vaccine Scheduling Update

 CALDWELL, IDAHO – Vaccinating our older adult population (65 and older), is currently high priority. We are closely working with our local COVID-19 vaccine partners to administer vaccine to eligible population groups. However, there are challenges to overcome and we ask for your patience and cooperation as we work through these challenges together. One of those challenges is our supply of vaccines. As of February 4, 2021, most of the vaccination sites in Southwest District Health’s jurisdiction have reported they have no appointment availability. The current vaccine quantity of 3,000 weekly doses makes it very difficult to schedule appointments in advance. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, it is difficult for our COVID-19 vaccine partners to schedule vaccination clinics.

Southwest District Health, or District 3, is responsible for distributing the vaccine to those eligible under Group 2 (Frontline Essential Workers and adults 65 years of age or older) in the following counties: Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington. As you may already realize, 3,000 vaccine doses are not nearly enough to vaccinate all eligible individuals in a single week. With the current weekly allotment of vaccine, we estimate it will take 10 weeks to vaccinate all individuals in Group 2.

We understand many individuals in Group 2 are eager to receive their vaccine; however, we ask for your patience and understanding as we work with our community partners to administer vaccines to over 46,778 people within District 3. It is anticipated that it will take at least 10 weeks to vaccinate everyone in Group 2. We encourage community members eligible for the vaccine to prioritize those compromised individuals over 65 and those that are high risk.

Please know we are working diligently to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people as quickly and efficiently as we can with our limited vaccine supply. We encourage you to continue to look for updates from Southwest District Health via social media, news releases, and updates from our media and healthcare partners. We are hopeful additional vaccine supplies will be made available to us in the near future.

Again, please keep in mind that if you are currently eligible to receive a vaccine, appointment availability may not be immediate. Current vaccine administering partner sites can be found here as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/#Vaccine

Questions about this information or any other COVID-19 information may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except for observed holidays) at 208-455-5411. Statewide Information: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/.

Thank you for your patience as we work together to vaccinate our currently eligible populations.

# # #

Media Contacts: 

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

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Southwest District Health Vaccine Scheduling Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health Vaccine Scheduling Update

 CALDWELL, IDAHO – Vaccinating our older adult population (65 and older), is currently high priority. We are closely working with our local COVID-19 vaccine partners to administer vaccine to eligible population groups. However, there are challenges to overcome and we ask for your patience and cooperation as we work through these challenges together. One of those challenges is our supply of vaccines. As of February 4, 2021, most of the vaccination sites in Southwest District Health’s jurisdiction have reported they have no appointment availability. The current vaccine quantity of 3,000 weekly doses makes it very difficult to schedule appointments in advance. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, it is difficult for our COVID-19 vaccine partners to schedule vaccination clinics.

Southwest District Health, or District 3, is responsible for distributing the vaccine to those eligible under Group 2 (Frontline Essential Workers and adults 65 years of age or older) in the following counties: Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington. As you may already realize, 3,000 vaccine doses are not nearly enough to vaccinate all eligible individuals in a single week. With the current weekly allotment of vaccine, we estimate it will take 10 weeks to vaccinate all individuals in Group 2.

We understand many individuals in Group 2 are eager to receive their vaccine; however, we ask for your patience and understanding as we work with our community partners to administer vaccines to over 46,778 people within District 3. It is anticipated that it will take at least 10 weeks to vaccinate everyone in Group 2. We encourage community members eligible for the vaccine to prioritize those compromised individuals over 65 and those that are high risk.

Please know we are working diligently to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people as quickly and efficiently as we can with our limited vaccine supply. We encourage you to continue to look for updates from Southwest District Health via social media, news releases, and updates from our media and healthcare partners. We are hopeful additional vaccine supplies will be made available to us in the near future.

Again, please keep in mind that if you are currently eligible to receive a vaccine, appointment availability may not be immediate. Current vaccine administering partner sites can be found here as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/#Vaccine

Questions about this information or any other COVID-19 information may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except for observed holidays) at 208-455-5411. Statewide Information: https://coronavirus.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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Four counties within Southwest District Health’s jurisdiction at orange health alert level

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Four counties within Southwest District Health’s jurisdiction at orange health alert level

 CALDWELL, IDAHO – COVID-19 continues to spread throughout District 3. Some areas within District 3 may be experiencing the beginning of a downward trend in COVID-19, with declining daily incidence rates and positivity rates. However, some areas in District 3 are experiencing increasing rates of COVID-19 incidence. This is based on data available for the date range January 10, 2021 – January 23, 2021. Adams, Canyon, Gem, and Payette counties are at the orange COVID-19 health alert level this week. Currently, Owyhee and Washington counties are at the red health alert level. As of January 23, 2021, the daily district-wide incidence rate per 10,000 population is 4.64.

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: Orange

Adams County will remain in the orange health alert level, with a decreasing incidence rate, and no evidence of COVID-19 cases in primary schools. Adams County saw a daily COVID-19 incidence of 3.87 daily new cases per 10,000 people, which is steadily decreasing.  Many of these new cases can be traced to workplace and household exposure as well as through social gatherings. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show a decrease in community transmission in Adams County, with 85.71% of cases able to identify a potential exposure source. Additionally, the test positivity rate for Adams County is 14.48%, which is increasing and concerning to SWDH epidemiologists. No cases of COVID-19 were reported in Adams County schools.

 

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange

Canyon County will move to the orange health alert level due to a decreasing daily incidence rate and positivity rate. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 4.84 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. Canyon County has a positivity rate of 12.44%, which is decreasing but still shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 61.76% 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. Sixteen congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks. Multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting sporadic, imported cases with evidence of two cluster outbreaks.

 

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange

Gem County will remain in the orange health alert level, due to a decreasing incidence rate and positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 4.10 daily cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. The test positivity rate for Gem County is 8.51% which is decreasing. Four congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 77.78% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is trending slightly down and indicates an increase in community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to household exposure and workplaces. Multiple cases of COVID-19 were reported in Gem County schools with no evidence of transmission within schools.

 

OWYHEE COUNTY –  Health Alert Level: Red

Owyhee County will remain in the red health alert level this week, 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).” Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 1.99 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing. The test positivity rate is 12.61% which is decreasing but still shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent than our data show. Only 40.91% of cases can identify an exposure source, which decreased dramatically and indicates community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from social gatherings, travel, workplaces, and household exposure. No COVID-19 cases were reported in Owyhee County schools during this date range, although one cluster outbreak is still being monitored.

 

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange

Payette County will remain in the orange health alert level, due to a decreasing positivity rate and incidence rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 4.07 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 12.69%, which is decreasing but still higher than we would like to see. 68.18% of cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is decreasing and 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 schools in Payette County are reporting sporadic, imported cases with no evidence of cluster outbreaks.

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red

Washington County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an increasing daily incidence rate and an elevated positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 5.98 daily cases per 10,000 people, which increased slightly. The positivity rate for Washington County is 15.56%, which is decreased but still shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. 67.86% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to a slight increase in community transmission. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring primarily through households and workplace exposures. One school in Washington County reported one imported case of COVID-19 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 January 17, 2021 – January 23, 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 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 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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COVID-19 vaccine appointments begin opening for residents 65 years and older in Central District Health, Southwest District Health jurisdictions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COVID-19 vaccine appointments begin opening for residents 65 years and older in Central District Health, Southwest District Health jurisdictions

Vaccine providers may use prioritization efforts to serve those more vulnerable, first

Idaho’s next Subgroup eligible for COVID-19 vaccine will start Monday, February 1, and includes adults 65 years of age and older. Enrolled vaccine providers across Central District Health (CDH) and Southwest District Health’s (SWDH) combined 10 counties are beginning to accept appointments given Governor Little’s announcement, today, announcing movement to Subgroup 2.2 of the state’s prioritization plan.

“What we know is this is a large and motivated group of residents. They are eager, and we are equally interested in seeing them gain protection from this vaccine. But we want to set realistic expectations and remind our residents who are 65 and older that this will be a multi-week process, likely longer, given the estimated 80,000 people in CDH’s jurisdiction and approximately 6,000-7,000 vaccines a week coming into our area,” said Russ Duke, District Director for Central District Health. CDH’s district includes Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties.

In SWDH’s six-county region of Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties, an estimated 45,000 people qualify for vaccine in Subgroup 2.2. The district is receiving around 3,000 vaccines a week for the counties it serves.

Public health encourages focus on those with serious health conditions, first

Because of the limited vaccine doses and no significant increase anticipated, the two neighboring health districts are encouraging and supporting vaccine providers in using a priority system to focus on those most vulnerable in the early part of serving this Subgroup. Prioritization may include screenings to determine if a person has serious health conditions that put them at higher risk for severe impacts from COVID-19. Other vaccine providers may initially focus on the upper age segment of the 65 and older population, such as those in the 80-plus age group.

“The data clearly show that our 65 and older populations have the highest rate of hospitalization and death, and often times with pre-existing conditions. While age alone puts us at higher risk, other health conditions increase the potential for negative outcomes if a person becomes infected. Allowing community members at an elevated risk to go first will begin to offer some of our most vulnerable residents a chance at protection, just a bit sooner,” said Nikki Zogg, District Director for Southwest District Health.

Where to get vaccinated

Currently, weekly vaccine allotments are going to major health systems and pharmacies in CDH and SWDH regions. Both health districts maintain a list of enrolled vaccine providers with instructions on how to make an appointment. This information can be found on the districts’ websites (CDH | SWDH). For those without internet access, health district information call centers are a good resource (see More Information section below). “If you know someone – a neighbor or loved one who may need help with making an appointment or getting to an appointment, please help make this a priority for them right now and connect them to vaccine through the lists of providers in our regions,” said Zogg.

Although the two health districts share county borders, residents are strongly encouraged to seek vaccine within the county they live in. Vaccine doses are allotted by health districts and must remain and be offered within that district.

Public health emphasizes the importance of honoring your vaccine appointment and asks that people not double-book appointments with multiple providers. Limited doses and prep work that must go into a vaccine before an appointment, places that dose at risk of being wasted, and takes away another person’s chance to be vaccinated when people hold appointment times and do not show up.

Previous Groups still eligible

Public health reminds people that those within Group 1 and Subgroup 2.1 are still eligible for a vaccine and are encouraged to seek an appointment. To view a list of who is eligible in these Groups, visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

How vaccine gets to our communities

Each week, typically Wednesday or Thursday, local public health districts receive the number of vaccine doses their district has been allotted for the upcoming week by state public health. Districts work with enrolled vaccine providers throughout the counties they serve to determine need, and begin deciding who will get how many doses. Considerations must also include storage capacity and can be impacted by the way vaccines are packaged and shipped by the company (e.g. Pfizer vaccine ships in trays of 975 that cannot be broken up between providers.)

In CDH’s jurisdiction, enrolled providers receive direct shipments of vaccine to their facilities; in SWDH’s jurisdiction, some vaccine is shipped directly to providers, and some is received by the health district and distributed per a plan. Enrolled providers work through their scheduling platforms to schedule appointments with eligible groups. Currently in Idaho, vaccines are not transferred between health districts; doses stay within the health district they are assigned to. 

More Information

Central District Health serves Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties

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

  • Call Center: 208-455-5411 – Open M-F, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Vaccine web page: idaho.gov/covid19/#Vaccine
  • Enrolled vaccine provider list:

https://phd3.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/COVID-19-Vaccine-Location-R3-List-01262021.pdf

Media Contacts:

Central District Health: Christine Myron, 208-871-1712 | cmyron@cdh.idaho.gov
Southwest District Health: Ashley Anderson, 208-455-5413 | ashley.anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

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Three counties within Southwest District Health’s jurisdiction moved to orange health alert level

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COVID-19 vaccine appointments begin opening for residents 65 years and older in Central District Health, Southwest District Health jurisdictions

Vaccine providers may use prioritization efforts to serve those more vulnerable, first

Idaho’s next Subgroup eligible for COVID-19 vaccine will start Monday, February 1, and includes adults 65 years of age and older. Enrolled vaccine providers across Central District Health (CDH) and Southwest District Health’s (SWDH) combined 10 counties are beginning to accept appointments given Governor Little’s announcement, today, announcing movement to Subgroup 2.2 of the state’s prioritization plan.

“What we know is this is a large and motivated group of residents. They are eager, and we are equally interested in seeing them gain protection from this vaccine. But we want to set realistic expectations and remind our residents who are 65 and older that this will be a multi-week process, likely longer, given the estimated 80,000 people in CDH’s jurisdiction and approximately 6,000-7,000 vaccines a week coming into our area,” said Russ Duke, District Director for Central District Health. CDH’s district includes Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties.

In SWDH’s six-county region of Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties, an estimated 45,000 people qualify for vaccine in Subgroup 2.2. The district is receiving around 3,000 vaccines a week for the counties it serves.

Public health encourages focus on those with serious health conditions, first

Because of the limited vaccine doses and no significant increase anticipated, the two neighboring health districts are encouraging and supporting vaccine providers in using a priority system to focus on those most vulnerable in the early part of serving this Subgroup. Prioritization may include screenings to determine if a person has serious health conditions that put them at higher risk for severe impacts from COVID-19. Other vaccine providers may initially focus on the upper age segment of the 65 and older population, such as those in the 80-plus age group.

“The data clearly show that our 65 and older populations have the highest rate of hospitalization and death, and often times with pre-existing conditions. While age alone puts us at higher risk, other health conditions increase the potential for negative outcomes if a person becomes infected. Allowing community members at an elevated risk to go first will begin to offer some of our most vulnerable residents a chance at protection, just a bit sooner,” said Nikki Zogg, District Director for Southwest District Health.

Where to get vaccinated

Currently, weekly vaccine allotments are going to major health systems and pharmacies in CDH and SWDH regions. Both health districts maintain a list of enrolled vaccine providers with instructions on how to make an appointment. This information can be found on the districts’ websites (CDH | SWDH). For those without internet access, health district information call centers are a good resource (see More Information section below). “If you know someone – a neighbor or loved one who may need help with making an appointment or getting to an appointment, please help make this a priority for them right now and connect them to vaccine through the lists of providers in our regions,” said Zogg.

Although the two health districts share county borders, residents are strongly encouraged to seek vaccine within the county they live in. Vaccine doses are allotted by health districts and must remain and be offered within that district.

Public health emphasizes the importance of honoring your vaccine appointment and asks that people not double-book appointments with multiple providers. Limited doses and prep work that must go into a vaccine before an appointment, places that dose at risk of being wasted, and takes away another person’s chance to be vaccinated when people hold appointment times and do not show up.

Previous Groups still eligible

Public health reminds people that those within Group 1 and Subgroup 2.1 are still eligible for a vaccine and are encouraged to seek an appointment. To view a list of who is eligible in these Groups, visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

How vaccine gets to our communities

Each week, typically Wednesday or Thursday, local public health districts receive the number of vaccine doses their district has been allotted for the upcoming week by state public health. Districts work with enrolled vaccine providers throughout the counties they serve to determine need, and begin deciding who will get how many doses. Considerations must also include storage capacity and can be impacted by the way vaccines are packaged and shipped by the company (e.g. Pfizer vaccine ships in trays of 975 that cannot be broken up between providers.)

In CDH’s jurisdiction, enrolled providers receive direct shipments of vaccine to their facilities; in SWDH’s jurisdiction, some vaccine is shipped directly to providers, and some is received by the health district and distributed per a plan. Enrolled providers work through their scheduling platforms to schedule appointments with eligible groups. Currently in Idaho, vaccines are not transferred between health districts; doses stay within the health district they are assigned to.

More Information

Central District Health serves Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties

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

  • Call Center: 208-455-5411 – Open M-F, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Vaccine web page: idaho.gov/covid19/#Vaccine
  • Enrolled vaccine provider list:

https://phd3.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/COVID-19-Vaccine-Location-R3-List-01262021.pdf

Media Contacts:

Central District Health: Christine Myron, 208-871-1712 | cmyron@cdh.idaho.gov
Southwest District Health: Ashley Anderson, 208-455-5413 | ashley.anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

COVID-19 vaccine appointments begin opening for residents 65 years and older in Central District Health, Southwest District Health jurisdictions

Vaccine providers may use prioritization efforts to serve those
more vulnerable, first

Idaho’s next Subgroup eligible for COVID-19 vaccine will start Monday, February 1, and includes adults 65 years of age and older. Enrolled vaccine providers across Central District Health (CDH) and Southwest District Health’s (SWDH) combined 10 counties are beginning to accept appointments given Governor Little’s announcement, today, announcing movement to Subgroup 2.2 of the state’s prioritization plan.

“What we know is this is a large and motivated group of residents. They are eager, and we are equally interested in seeing them gain protection from this vaccine. But we want to set realistic expectations and remind our residents who are 65 and older that this will be a multi-week process, likely longer, given the estimated 80,000 people in CDH’s jurisdiction and approximately 6,000-7,000 vaccines a week coming into our area,” said Russ Duke, District Director for Central District Health. CDH’s district includes Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties.

In SWDH’s six-county region of Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties, an estimated 45,000 people qualify for vaccine in Subgroup 2.2. The district is receiving around 3,000 vaccines a week for the counties it serves.

Public health encourages focus on those with serious health conditions, first

Because of the limited vaccine doses and no significant increase anticipated, the two neighboring health districts are encouraging and supporting vaccine providers in using a priority system to focus on those most vulnerable in the early part of serving this Subgroup. Prioritization may include screenings to determine if a person has serious health conditions that put them at higher risk for severe impacts from COVID-19. Other vaccine providers may initially focus on the upper age segment of the 65 and older population, such as those in the 80-plus age group.

“The data clearly show that our 65 and older populations have the highest rate of hospitalization and death, and often times with pre-existing conditions. While age alone puts us at higher risk, other health conditions increase the potential for negative outcomes if a person becomes infected. Allowing community members at an elevated risk to go first will begin to offer some of our most vulnerable residents a chance at protection, just a bit sooner,” said Nikki Zogg, District Director for Southwest District Health.

Where to get vaccinated

Currently, weekly vaccine allotments are going to major health systems and pharmacies in CDH and SWDH regions. Both health districts maintain a list of enrolled vaccine providers with instructions on how to make an appointment. This information can be found on the districts’ websites (CDH | SWDH). For those without internet access, health district information call centers are a good resource (see More Information section below). “If you know someone – a neighbor or loved one who may need help with making an appointment or getting to an appointment, please help make this a priority for them right now and connect them to vaccine through the lists of providers in our regions,” said Zogg.

Although the two health districts share county borders, residents are strongly encouraged to seek vaccine within the county they live in. Vaccine doses are allotted by health districts and must remain and be offered within that district.

Public health emphasizes the importance of honoring your vaccine appointment and asks that people not double-book appointments with multiple providers. Limited doses and prep work that must go into a vaccine before an appointment, places that dose at risk of being wasted, and takes away another person’s chance to be vaccinated when people hold appointment times and do not show up.

Previous Groups still eligible

Public health reminds people that those within Group 1 and Subgroup 2.1 are still eligible for a vaccine and are encouraged to seek an appointment. To view a list of who is eligible in these Groups, visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

How vaccine gets to our communities

Each week, typically Wednesday or Thursday, local public health districts receive the number of vaccine doses their district has been allotted for the upcoming week by state public health. Districts work with enrolled vaccine providers throughout the counties they serve to determine need, and begin deciding who will get how many doses. Considerations must also include storage capacity and can be impacted by the way vaccines are packaged and shipped by the company (e.g. Pfizer vaccine ships in trays of 975 that cannot be broken up between providers.)

In CDH’s jurisdiction, enrolled providers receive direct shipments of vaccine to their facilities; in SWDH’s jurisdiction, some vaccine is shipped directly to providers, and some is received by the health district and distributed per a plan. Enrolled providers work through their scheduling platforms to schedule appointments with eligible groups. Currently in Idaho, vaccines are not transferred between health districts; doses stay within the health district they are assigned to.

More Information

Central District Health serves Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties

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

  • Call Center: 208-455-5411 – Open M-F, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Vaccine web page: idaho.gov/covid19/#Vaccine
  • Enrolled vaccine provider list:

https://phd3.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/COVID-19-Vaccine-Location-R3-List-01262021.pdf

###

Media Contacts:

Central District Health: Christine Myron, 208-871-1712 | cmyron@cdh.idaho.gov
Southwest District Health: Ashley Anderson, 208-455-5413 | ashley.anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

Read More

Southwest District Health COVID-19 notification sign-up form and vaccination site locator publicly available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health COVID-19 notification sign-up form and vaccination site locator publicly available

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health’s (SWDH) COVID-19 hotline has received many questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and its availability. SWDH has launched a COVID-19 Vaccine webpage to keep SWDH communities updated with current COVID-19 vaccine information. In an effort to make more information about vaccination sites available within SWDH’s jurisdiction of Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties, a Region 3 Vaccination Sites webpage featuring a downloadable list and interactive map of currently enrolled vaccine providers is available to the public. This list and map of enrolled COVID-19 vaccine providers will continue to be updated.

In addition to the informational resources, SWDH has developed an online notification sign-up form that informs the community when the vaccine is available to their priority group. The online form is located on SWDH’s website. Individuals may access this form and submit their information to SWDH, at that time individuals are added to a notification list for their qualifying priority group. This form and the notification process does not sign the participant up to receive or reserve a vaccine but serves as a mechanism to notify participants about options when the vaccine is available for their priority group.

For residents of Region 3 who use the new online form, your information will be collected electronically, then you will be notified via e-mail or phone when your priority group is eligible for vaccine. Please continue to follow SWDH on social media and regularly check the State of Idaho’s coronavirus website for COVID-19 vaccine updates. This is a call to action for the communities of Southwest Idaho, to those that have friends, neighbors, or loved ones that are not able to access COVID-19 vaccine online resources, we strongly encourage our residents to stay informed and share vaccine updates with one another. Each vaccine that is administered is a step toward returning to pre-pandemic life as we know it. Public health needs the help of our communities to keep one another informed of current and correct vaccine information, information such as safety, efficacy, and availability.

SWDH continues to work diligently to build capacity within communities to distribute and administer available COVID-19 vaccines. SWDH is not delaying the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine. While interest in vaccine is high, weekly vaccine allotments are limited at this time and will impact how quickly individuals can get vaccinated. Vaccine is being distributed to healthcare partners, including clinics and pharmacies who have enrolled to be COVID-19 vaccine providers. Vaccine is currently being offered to the population in Priority Group 1 and eligible individuals in Priority Group 2.1 as defined by Idaho’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee’s (CVAC) recommendations that have been approved by Governor Little. ​​

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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Owyhee County moves to orange COVID-19 health alert level; five counties in Southwest District Health jurisdiction remain at the red alert level

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Owyhee County moves to orange COVID-19 health alert level; five counties in Southwest District Health jurisdiction remain at the red alert level

 CALDWELL, IDAHO – COVID-19 continues to spread throughout District 3 although the region may be experiencing the beginning of a downward trend with declining daily incidence and positivity rates. This is based on data available for the date range of December 27, 2020 – January 9, 2021. Owyhee County has moved to the orange COVID-19 health alert level this week. Currently, Adams, Canyon, Gem, Payette, and Washington counties, all within the jurisdiction of Public Health District 3, are at the red health alert level. As of January 12, 2021, the daily district-wide incidence rate per 10,000 population is 5.45.

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 a very high incidence rate, positivity rate and a high percentage of cases resulting from community transmission. Adams County saw a daily COVID-19 incidence of 9.41 daily new cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing but remains elevated.  Many of these new cases can be traced to travel, as well as workplace and household exposure. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show sustained community transmission in Adams County, as only 59.18% of cases can identify a potential exposure source. Additionally, the test positivity rate for Adams County is 41.67%, which is increasing dramatically. One sporadic, imported case of COVID-19 was reported in an Adams County school, with no evidence of transmission within the school.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Canyon County will remain in the red health alert level due to an increasing incidence rate and positivity rate as well as evidence of sustained community spread. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 5.61 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is increasing. Canyon County has a positivity rate of 16.42%, which is increasing and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 54.02% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. Southwest District Health investigators are seeing cases exposed through holiday gatherings as well as in workplaces and households. Seventeen congregate living facilities are reporting cluster outbreaks. Healthcare facilities in Canyon County are postponing elective surgeries to conserve resources. Multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting sporadic, imported cases with evidence of one cluster outbreak.

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Gem County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high positivity rate and evidence of community spread. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 4.81 daily cases per 10,000 people which is trending up slightly. The test positivity rate for Gem County is 18.63% which is increasing and shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than what our data show. Four congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 63.37% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is trending up but still indicates community transmission. Of the individuals who could identify their exposure source, most were attributed to household exposure, workplaces, and community events. Multiple schools in Gem County are reporting sporadic, imported cases with evidence of one cluster outbreak.

OWYHEE COUNTY –  Health Alert Level: Orange

Owyhee County will move to the orange health alert level, due to a low and stable daily incidence rate and a 30% decrease in community transmission. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 3.69 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is stable. However, the test positivity rate is 18.57% which is trending down but still much higher than we would like to see. 66.00% of cases can identify an exposure source, which increased dramatically but still indicates community transmission. Southwest District Health epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from out-of-town visitors, workplaces, and household exposure. Multiple schools in Owyhee County are reporting sporadic, imported cases with evidence of one cluster outbreak.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high positivity rate and evidence of sustained community spread. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 4.47 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is stable but still much higher than we would like to see. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 20.44%, which shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 50.00% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. Southwest District Health epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well as travel and household exposure. Multiple schools in Payette County are reporting sporadic, imported cases with evidence of one cluster outbreak.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Washington County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an elevated daily incidence rate and an increasing positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 5.84 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing. The positivity rate for Washington County is 15.79%, which is increasing and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 55.56% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. Southwest District Health epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring primarily through holiday gatherings, households, and workplaces. Multiple schools in Washington County are reporting sporadic, imported cases with no evidence of cluster outbreaks.
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 January 3, 2021 – January 9, 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 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 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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The six-county jurisdiction of Southwest District Health remains at the red health alert level

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The six-county jurisdiction of Southwest District Health remains at the red health alert level

 CALDWELL, IDAHO – COVID-19 continues to spread throughout District 3 with increased rates of community transmission, declining daily incidence rates, and increasing positivity rates. A slight decline in daily incidence rate paired with an increase in test positivity rate indicates a decreased frequency of COVID-19 testing, not cases. This is based on data available for the date range of December 20, 2020 – January 2, 2021. Currently, all six counties within the jurisdiction of Public Health District 3 are at the red health alert level. As of January 2, 2021, the daily district-wide incidence rate per 10,000 population is 4.81.

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 a very high incidence rate, positivity rate and a high percentage of cases resulting from community transmission. Adams County saw a daily COVID-19 incidence of 15.46 daily new cases per 10,000 people, which remains elevated.  Many of these new cases can be traced to holiday gatherings, as well as workplace and household exposure. Evidence collected through investigations during the two-week period show sustained community transmission in Adams County, as only 67.86% of cases can identify a potential exposure source. Additionally, the test positivity rate for Adams County is 13.04%, which is increasing and 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 primarily among household members.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Canyon County will remain in the red health alert level due to a high positivity rate and evidence of sustained community spread. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 4.73 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. However, Canyon County has a positivity rate of 15.29%, which shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 58.96% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. Southwest District Health investigators are seeing cases exposed through holiday gatherings as well as in workplaces and households. 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 primarily among household members.

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Gem County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a high positivity rate and evidence of community spread. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 4.30 daily cases per 10,000 people and a test positivity rate of 15.45%. While the daily incidence rate for Gem County is trending down, the test positivity rate is increasing, which shows that COVID-19 is much more prevalent in the community than what our data show. Three congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 62.03% 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 holiday 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 primarily among household members.

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 3.50 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is trending in the right direction. However, the test positivity rate is 20.25% 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. Only 48.98% of cases can identify an exposure source, which points to sustained community transmission. Southwest District Health epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in Owyhee County primarily from holiday 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 among household members.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a very high positivity rate and evidence of sustained community spread. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 4.47 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. However, Payette County has a test positivity rate of 22.30%, which is increasing and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 41.32% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. Southwest District Health epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well as community gatherings and holiday events. 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 among household members.

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 5.55 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing. The positivity rate for Washington County is 9.68%, which is decreasing but still shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 57.75% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. Southwest District Health 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 among household members.

WEEKLY CASES BY SCHOOL DISTRICT
During the week of December 27, 2020 – January 2, 2021, 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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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.

# # #

Media Contacts: 

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

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