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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