Human West Nile Virus Case Identified in Canyon County Health Officials Encourage Taking Precautions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Human West Nile Virus Case Identified in Canyon County
Health Officials Encourage Taking Precautions

CALDWELL, IDAHO – West Nile virus has been confirmed in a Canyon County resident. This is the first 2022 human case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in the counties served by Southwest District Health.

West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness that is usually spread to animals and humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It does not spread from person-to-person. Most people infected with the virus do not show symptoms, although more severe symptoms may occur, especially in individuals older than 60. People with symptoms may experience fever, headaches, body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash typically occurring 2 to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

“About one in 150 people infected with WNV develop severe illness such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord),” said Ricky Bowman, Program Manager for Southwest District Health. “These more severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever, headache, neck stiffness, body aches, disorientation, and tremors, and may require hospitalization” he said.

Measures to lessen the chance of bites from infected mosquitos are underway in Canyon County. “Surveillance and control measures throughout the county have already been increased in response to several previous West Nile virus positive mosquito samples,“ said Jim Lunders, Director of Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District.

The more time you spend outdoors, the higher your chances are that you could be bitten by an infected mosquito. To reduce your risk of contracting WNV you should:

  • Avoid outdoor activities between dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and feeding
  • Wear long sleeves, pants, and loose-fitting clothing if you must be outside between dawn and dusk
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535 or Picaridin (follow manufacturers’ instructions) when outside. In addition, certain products containing permethrin are recommended for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear.
  • Remove mosquito breeding sites by draining standing water from flowerpots, buckets, barrels, pool covers, and wading pools. Water held for seven days can produce mosquitoes.
  • Avoid over irrigating your lawns, gardens, and pastures
  • Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths and watering troughs at least twice weekly.
  • Drill holes in tire swings or old tires so water drains out.
  • Vaccinate your horses against West Nile virus.
  • Notify the District at 208-461-8633 if you have a site that is too large to be eliminated so it can be properly treated.

West Nile virus does not usually affect domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, but it can cause severe illness in horses and certain bird species. There is no human vaccine available but there are vaccines available for horses. People are advised to vaccinate their horses to protect them against WNV.

For more information on WNV please visit:

For more information on insect repellents, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents

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Media Contacts

Southwest District Health:

Ashley Anderson    Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

Katrina Williams     Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District:

Jim Lunders           jlunders@2cmad.org

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Health advisory issued for LAKE LOWELL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Health advisory issued for LAKE LOWELL

Based on Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) testing and Idaho’s public health advisory guidelines, Southwest District Health (SWDH) is issuing a health advisory for Lake Lowell. Southwest District Health urges residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water. Recent samples taken from Lake Lowell indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

When recreating near or in Lake Lowell, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities in the water. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water. Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water does not remove the toxins and can increase the risk of adverse health effects.
  • Wash hands thoroughly in clean water after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Clean and wash fish thoroughly in uncontaminated water and dispose of internal organs before consumption. If you choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean skin or pet fur with clean water as soon as possible after any water contact.

No updates will be provided until DEQ testing reveals toxins are below the health standard. The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

Pets, livestock, and wildlife can get sick, or even die, within minutes to days after cyanotoxin exposure. Dogs are often the first affected because they are more likely to swim in or drink contaminated water or lick contaminated water or bloom material off their fur. If your pets or livestock have been in the water, immediately wash them with clean water to keep them from licking cyanobacteria off their bodies. Seek veterinary care immediately if your pets or livestock seem sick after going in or drinking the water.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor. Southwest District Health works closely with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and the DEQ in identifying, responding to, and monitoring cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (HABS).

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at https://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/cyanobacteria-harmful-algal-blooms/ or DHW’s website at https://www.gethealthy.dhw.idaho.gov/recreational-water-health-advisories.

# # #

Media Contacts:

DEQ media contact:
Anna Marron
208.373.0427
Anna.Marron@deq.idaho.gov

DHW media contact:
Greg Stahl
208.334.0668
Greg.Stahl@dhw.idaho.gov

SWDH media contacts:
Ashley Anderson
208.455.5413
Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

Katrina Williams
208.455.5317
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Adams County Bat Tests Positive for Rabies; Health Officials Urge Caution Around All Bats

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Adams County Bat Tests Positive for Rabies; Health Officials Urge Caution Around All Bats

 CALDWELL, IDAHO – A bat found in Adams County has tested positive for rabies, making it the first rabid bat discovered in the Southwest District Health (SWDH) jurisdiction this season. The bat was found inside of an Adams County home where it had contact with a cat. The cat has been vaccinated against rabies in the past and boostered following the encounter. Those who were staying at the home are being assessed for potential exposure.

Without timely medical intervention, rabies infection is virtually 100 percent fatal in people and animals. Medical therapy given to people soon after a possible rabies exposure is extremely effective in preventing rabies. People should call their healthcare providers promptly if they believe they may have been bitten or scratched by a bat. In Idaho, rabid bats are typically reported between March and November. Last year, 14 bats tested positive for rabies statewide.

Bites are considered the primary way rabies is transmitted, but waking up in a room with a bat, without having a clear idea of the bat’s behavior during the night can also put people and pets at risk for rabies infection. Whenever possible, a bat found in an area (inside or outside) where people or pets may have been exposed should be captured and submitted for rabies testing. Bats are the only natural hosts for the virus in Idaho and should always be avoided. No area of the state is considered rabies-free.

The most common ways people may encounter a bat is when a pet finds a bat in the yard, brings one into the home or a bat enters a home through a small opening or open windows or doors. People may also wake up to find a bat in the room and cannot be sure they were bitten or not while they slept. Whenever possible, a bat found in an area (inside or outside) where people or pets may have been exposed should be captured and submitted for rabies testing. Specific steps for collecting a bat for testing can be found outlined in a video produced by The Idaho Department of Fish and Game: https://idfg.idaho.gov/blog/2017/06/i-found-bat-my-home-what-do-i-do

To protect yourself and your pets, SWDH offers the following tips:

  • Never touch a bat with your bare hands;
  • If you have had an encounter with a bat, seek medical attention;
  • Call your local public health district about testing a bat for rabies. If it is determined that you or your pet may be at risk of rabies, the bat can be tested for free through the state public health laboratory;
  • If you come in contact with a bat, save the bat in a container without touching it and contact your district health department to arrange testing for rabies. Whenever possible, the bat should be tested to rule out an exposure to rabies;
  • Always vaccinate your pets for rabies, including horses. Pets may encounter bats outdoors or in the home;
  • and Bat-proof your home or cabin by plugging all holes in the siding and maintaining tight-fitting screens on windows.

For more information on bats and rabies, visit www.cdc.gov/rabies. To track the number of rabid bats in Idaho, visit: http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Health/DiseasesConditions/RabiesInformation/tabid/176/Default.aspx

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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 advisory issued for BROWNLEE RESERVOIR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Health advisory issued for BROWNLEE RESERVOIR

Based on Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) testing and Idaho’s public health advisory guidelines, Southwest District Health (SWDH) is issuing a health advisory for Brownlee Reservoir. SWDH urges residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water. Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

When recreating near or in Brownlee Reservoir, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities in the water. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water. Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water does not remove the toxins and can increase the risk of adverse health effects.
  • Wash hands thoroughly in clean water after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Clean and wash fish thoroughly in uncontaminated water and dispose of internal organs before consumption. If you choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean skin or pet fur with clean water as soon as possible after any water contact.

The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

Pets, livestock, and wildlife can get sick, or even die, within minutes to days after cyanotoxin exposure. Dogs are often the first affected because they are more likely to swim in or drink contaminated water or lick contaminated water or bloom material off their fur. If your pets or livestock have been in the water, immediately wash them with clean water to keep them from licking cyanobacteria off their bodies. Seek veterinary care immediately if your pets or livestock seem sick after going in or drinking the water.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor. SWDH works closely with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and the DEQ in identifying, responding to, and monitoring cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (HABS).

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at https://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/cyanobacteria-harmful-algal-blooms/ or DHW’s website at https://www.gethealthy.dhw.idaho.gov/recreational-water-health-advisories.

# # #

Media Contacts:

DEQ media contact:
Anna Marron
208.373.0427
Anna.Marron@deq.idaho.gov

DHW media contact:
Greg Stahl
208.334.0668
Greg.Stahl@dhw.idaho.gov

SWDH media contacts:
Ashley Anderson
208.455.5413
Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

Katrina Williams
208.455.5317
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Canyon County Monkeypox Disease Investigation Concluded

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Canyon County Monkeypox Disease Investigation Concluded 

CALDWELL, IDAHO – The epidemiologic disease investigation has been concluded for the probable case of monkeypox originally announced by Southwest District Health (SWDH) on July 29, 2022. Due to a laboratory error at the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories (IBL), results for the Non Variola Orthopox (“monkeypox”) virus assay have been amended. Lab results have confirmed that, to date, there are zero (0) confirmed cases of monkeypox in the Southwest District Health region. The region Southwest District Health serves includes Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties, respectively. 

Southwest District Health urges the community to stay current on monkeypox trends in our area and to take steps to prevent monkeypox from taking hold in our community. Through informed decision making, individuals and families can reduce the risk of contracting and spreading monkeypox.  

SWDH encourages anyone who is experiencing an unexplained skin rash with or without a fever to contact their healthcare provider and avoid contact with others. If possible, call ahead before going to a healthcare facility. If you are not able to call ahead, tell a staff member as soon as you arrive that you are concerned about monkeypox. Tell your doctor if in the month before developing symptoms: 

Anyone who is ill with these symptoms is encouraged to follow SWDH and their healthcare provider’s advice to help prevent the spread to others. 

For more information on monkeypox please visit https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

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Southwest District Health Media Contacts:

Ashley Anderson    Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

Katrina Williams     Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

 

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Case of Monkeypox Reported in Canyon County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health (SWDH) is announcing the first case of monkeypox in its jurisdiction of an Idaho resident. The case was detected in Canyon County.

The investigation is ongoing. Local and state public health officials are working with the patient’s healthcare providers to ensure the patient is treated and any potential close contacts are identified and notified of exposure risk.

Testing for initial identification was performed at the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories, and samples are being sent to CDC for confirmation of the monkeypox virus; results from CDC are expected in the next week.

Monkeypox usually causes a mild illness, and most people recover on their own. Antivirals are available for patients who might have severe disease or develop complications. Southwest District Health recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox to reduce symptoms and prevent further spread in our community. Individuals with monkeypox should self-isolate until their lesions have fully healed with new skin where the lesions used to be.

 

How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. We believe this is currently the most common way that monkeypox is spreading in the U.S.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions.

 

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Close contacts should be monitored for symptoms for 21 days after their last exposure. Symptoms* of concern include:

  • Fever ≥100.4°F (38°C)
  • Chills
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • New skin rash – Rash may look like pimples or blisters.

*Fever and rash occur in nearly all people infected with monkeypox virus.

 

If symptoms develop, contacts should immediately self-isolate and call Southwest District Health for further guidance. Contacts who remain asymptomatic can continue routine daily activities.

 

How to prevent monkeypox?

Take the following steps to prevent monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

 

What to do if you have symptoms of monkeypox?

SWDH encourages anyone who is experiencing an unexplained skin rash with or without a fever to contact their healthcare provider and avoid contact with others. If possible, call ahead before going to a healthcare facility. If you are not able to call ahead, tell a staff member as soon as you arrive that you are concerned about monkeypox. Tell your doctor if in the month before developing symptoms:

Anyone who is ill with these symptoms is encouraged to follow SWDH and their healthcare provider’s advice to help prevent the spread to others.

 

For more information on monkeypox please visit https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

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Southwest District Health Media Contacts:

Ashley Anderson    Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

Katrina Williams     Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

 

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Health advisory issued for CJ STRIKE RESERVOIR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Health advisory issued for CJ STRIKE RESERVOIR                                          

Based on Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) testing and Idaho’s public health advisory guidelines, Southwest District Health (SWDH) is issuing a health advisory for CJ Strike Reservoir. SWDH urges residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water. Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

When recreating near or in CJ Strike Reservoir, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities in the water. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water. Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water does not remove the toxins and can increase the risk of adverse health effects.
  • Wash hands thoroughly in clean water after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Clean and wash fish thoroughly in uncontaminated water and dispose of internal organs before consumption. If you choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean skin or pet fur with clean water as soon as possible after any water contact.

The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

Pets, livestock, and wildlife can get sick, or even die, within minutes to days after cyanotoxin exposure. Dogs are often the first affected because they are more likely to swim in or drink contaminated water or lick contaminated water or bloom material off their fur. If your pets or livestock have been in the water, immediately wash them with clean water to keep them from licking cyanobacteria off their bodies. Seek veterinary care immediately if your pets or livestock seem sick after going in or drinking the water.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor. SWDH works closely with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) and the DEQ in identifying, responding to, and monitoring cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (HABS).

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at https://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/cyanobacteria-harmful-algal-blooms/ or IDHW’s website at https://www.gethealthy.dhw.idaho.gov/recreational-water-health-advisories.

# # #

Media Contacts:

DEQ media contact:
Anna Marron
208.373.0427
Anna.Marron@deq.idaho.gov

IDHW media contact:
Niki Forbing-Orr
208.334.0668
Niki.Forbing-Orr@dhw.idaho.gov

SWDH media contacts:
Ashley Anderson
208.455.5413
Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

Katrina Williams
208.455.5317
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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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://swdh.id.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://swdh.id.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/.

# # #

Media Contacts: 

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

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