FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gem, Owyhee, and Payette Counties moved to health alert level red
CALDWELL, IDAHO – Daily incidence rates continue to increase across the majority of the district. Based on data available for November 1, 2020 – November 14, 2020, Gem County, Owyhee County, and Payette Counties have moved from the orange alert level to the red alert level. Adams County is the only county remaining at the orange health alert level. The remaining counties are at the red alert level. The information used in determining county health alert levels is listed below.
ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange
Adams County will remain in the orange health alert level, with an incidence rate of 3.53 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. Many of these new cases can be traced to one cluster of COVID-19 cases. 94.12% of individuals who have contracted COVID-19 can determine where they were exposed to the virus, which does not meet the definition of community transmission which is less than 90%. One school in Adams County is experiencing a cluster outbreak with transmission occurring within the school.
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 6.31 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is trending up. Only 67.26% 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. Additionally, the test positivity rate in Canyon County has continued to increase to 17.83% which is concerning SWDH epidemiologists. Fourteen congregate living facilities are seeing cluster outbreaks. Some healthcare facilities in Canyon County are nearing capacity for inpatient and ICU bed and have concerns about critical care staffing. Additionally, multiple schools in Canyon County are reporting an outbreak or transmission within the school.
GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Gem County will move to the red health alert level, due to an increasing incidence rate and increasing positivity rate. Gem County has a daily incidence rate of 5.92 daily cases per 10,000 people and a test positivity rate of 15.38%. One congregate care facilities in Gem County is facing a sustained COVID-19 outbreak. 73.63% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is trending up but still points to community transmission. Additionally, local healthcare providers are concerned with staffing shortages and hospital capacity. Multiple schools in Gem County are experiencing cluster outbreaks among students and staff.
OWYHEE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Owyhee County will move to 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 5.01 daily cases per 10,000 people, which increased dramatically. Only 67.27% of cases can identify an exposure source, which is very concerning and points to sustained community spread. Additionally, the test positivity rate is 21.64% which shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data shows. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks in workplaces, businesses, and through community gatherings. There were multiple sporadic, imported case of COVID-19 within Owyhee County schools during the two-week date range with no evidence of transmission within schools.
PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County will move to the red health alert level, due to an increasing COVID-19 daily incidence rate, as well as a high positivity rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 5.37 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is increasing. Only 62.79% 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, households, and from social gatherings. Payette County has a test positivity rate of 15.41%, which is very high and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data shows. 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 positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 7.80 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing dramatically. The positivity rate for Washington County is 19.86%, which is continuing to increase. 72.00% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is decreasing and points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring within workplaces, households, and among healthcare workers in Washington County. Multiple Washington County schools are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19 with transmission occurring within one school. Additionally, we are seeing an increase in total hospitalizations in Washington County which is decreasing hospital capacity.
Correction from 11/11/2020 Health Alert Levels: No elective surgeries have been postponed by hospitals in Washington County.
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 8, 2020 and November 14, 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://swdh.id.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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Ashley Anderson Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov