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