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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