First Payette County COVID-19 Case Confirmed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

First Payette County COVID-19 Case Confirmed

CANYON COUNTY, ID – Southwest District Health (SWDH) has confirmed the first COVID-19 case in Payette County in a female in her 20s. The individual in this case experienced mild symptoms and recovered at home.  The point of transmission is under investigation. Additional case-specific information about this individual is confidential and will not be released.

Southwest District Health epidemiologists will investigate cases of possible contact with confirmed cases. Household members and anyone who had close, prolonged exposure to a confirmed case will be asked to self-isolate at home. Staff from SWDH will contact them, provide guidance, and monitor them closely for symptoms.

“We are working to take the right steps at the right time to slow the spread of this disease,” said SWDH District Director Nikki Zogg. “While this is a new virus, working to control communicable disease of all types is what our staff are trained to do and what they do each day all year long,” said Zogg.

Zogg encourages everyone to do their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by following these recommended actions:

  • Practice social distancing by avoiding crowds and staying at least 6 feet from others
  • Decrease time in group settings when possible
  • Limit unnecessary travel; postpone or cancel out of town vacations and out of state travel
  • Use drive through or delivery services for every day errands when possible
  • Shelter in place if you are at increased risk for severe illness
  • Shelter in place for 14 days after returning from travel to an area with known community spread
  • Create a plan for how to safely care for a household member if they become ill.

Additional information on how to slow the spread of COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html

Southwest District Health offers a COVID-19 call center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hotline can be reached at (208) 455-5411. For Idaho-specific information about the novel coronavirus, please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/.

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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MORE COVID-19 CASES CONFIRMED IN CANYON COUNTY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MORE COVID-19 CASES CONFIRMED IN CANYON COUNTY

CANYON COUNTY, IDAHO – Southwest District Health has confirmed four additional cases of COVID-19 in Canyon County. This brings the total to five cases in southwest Idaho.

  • Male in his 20s from Canyon County recovering at home; recently traveled to an area of known community transmission
  • Male in his 50s from Canyon County recovering at home; recently traveled to an out of state conference where an attendee was later confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Female in her 40s from Canyon County recovering in the hospital; point of transmission is still under investigation
  • Female in her 70s from Canyon County recovering at home; point of transmission is still under investigation

The investigations into these new confirmed cases are in their primary stages. Additional case-specific information about these individuals is confidential and will not be released.

“We all need to do our part to flatten the curve. Stay home and practice social distancing. Call or text your neighbors to ensure they’re okay. If you’re sick, stay home and self-isolate,” said Jaime Aanensen, Environmental and Community Health Services Division Administrator.

As a reminder, it is still cold and flu season, and you do not need to seek medical attention for a mild respiratory illness such as a cold.  However, if you have had close contact with a person with known COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread and you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, self-isolate and call your healthcare provider to ask for instructions about how to seek care.

As SWDH continues to investigate these cases, news releases will be issued when there is evidence of community spread and for the first case in each county in our district. Visit  https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for case numbers by health district and county.

Southwest District Health has opened a call center to field questions from the community. The call center is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can reach the hotline at (208) 455-5411.

For Idaho-specific information about the novel coronavirus, please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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Confirmed COVID-19 Case at Middleton School District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MORE COVID-19 CASES CONFIRMED IN CANYON COUNTY

CANYON COUNTY, IDAHO – Southwest District Health has confirmed four additional cases of COVID-19 in Canyon County. This brings the total to five cases in southwest Idaho.

  • Male in his 20s from Canyon County recovering at home; recently traveled to an area of known community transmission
  • Male in his 50s from Canyon County recovering at home; recently traveled to an out of state conference where an attendee was later confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Female in her 40s from Canyon County recovering in the hospital; point of transmission is still under investigation
  • Female in her 70s from Canyon County recovering at home; point of transmission is still under investigation

The investigations into these new confirmed cases are in their primary stages. Additional case-specific information about these individuals is confidential and will not be released.

“We all need to do our part to flatten the curve. Stay home and practice social distancing. Call or text your neighbors to ensure they’re okay. If you’re sick, stay home and self-isolate,” said Jaime Aanensen, Environmental and Community Health Services Division Administrator.

As a reminder, it is still cold and flu season, and you do not need to seek medical attention for a mild respiratory illness such as a cold.  However, if you have had close contact with a person with known COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread and you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, self-isolate and call your healthcare provider to ask for instructions about how to seek care.

As SWDH continues to investigate these cases, news releases will be issued when there is evidence of community spread and for the first case in each county in our district. Visit  https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for case numbers by health district and county.

Southwest District Health has opened a call center to field questions from the community. The call center is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can reach the hotline at (208) 455-5411.

For Idaho-specific information about the novel coronavirus, please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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Southwest District Health Announces Canyon County COVID-19 Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest District Health Announces Canyon County COVID-19 Case

CANYON COUNTY, ID – Southwest District Health (SWDH) has confirmed a case of COVID-19 in a male in his 60s in Canyon County. The individual in this case experienced mild symptoms and is recovering well at home. The investigation has revealed he recently traveled to a location that is currently seeing community spread. Additional case-specific information about this individual is confidential and will not be released. This is the first case in the six-county region Southwest District Health serves.

The COVID-19 situation is changing by the day and Southwest District Health is partnering with our communities across the board to work diligently to help slow the spread of this disease. “Please trust us as your public health agency. We will get through this by working together and taking the right steps at the right time. Please follow our recommendations. We are here to support our communities and the health of those communities is very important to us,” said Nikole Zogg, PhD, SWDH District Director. Zogg urges residents to not panic and use common sense when shopping for groceries and supplies. “If you need a grocery item, buy it. If you have it, share it. If you don’t need it, please leave it on the shelf,” said Zogg.

Southwest District Health remains open for business and most staff are working in-office at this time with plans in place for telecommuting should it be appropriate to do so.

Southwest District Health offers a COVID-19 call center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hotline can be reached at (208) 455-5411. For Idaho-specific information about the novel coronavirus, please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/.

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICTS UPDATE GUIDANCE FOR MASS GATHERINGS AND PUBLIC EVENTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICTS UPDATE GUIDANCE FOR MASS GATHERINGS AND PUBLIC EVENTS

CALDWELL, IDAHO – – Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the seven local Public Health Districts have updated guidance for event and venue managers to assist with decisions regarding mass gatherings and public events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Idaho public health experts, the Department of Health and Welfare and all local Public Health Districts, will support any decision made by a venue or event manager to postpone or cancel mass gatherings and public events.  For the purpose of this guidance, mass gatherings and events are defined as a public gathering for business, social, academic or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, educational, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.

Idaho public health experts recommend that organizers (whether groups or individuals) postpone or cancel mass gatherings and public events in any of the following situations:

  • The event will draw audiences or participants from communities, states, or countries with confirmed community spread of COVID-19 disease. Your local public health district can assist you in making this determination.
  • The event will consist of 50 people or more people.  This is recommended for the next eight (8) weeks.
  • The event’s primary audience includes or may expose high-risk populations, including adults over the age of 60 years and people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes, regardless of the number of attendees.

Idaho public health experts recommend event and venue managers consider using virtual gatherings (e.g., webinar, video conferencing, live stream, etc.) as a mechanism to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure to the general public and vulnerable populations, when possible.

Idaho public health experts recommend that facilities housing large numbers of people (such as long-term care facilities, jails and corrections, shelters, etc.) implement policies now to minimize risk to their populations by limiting visitors, providing proper handwashing and hygiene facilities for staff, visitors and residents and enhancing screening for staff and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19 generally include flu-like symptoms, a fever of 100.4°F or higher and/or respiratory infection symptoms including cough and shortness of breath.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. We all must takes steps now to protect ourselves and others, including washing hands often, practicing social distancing–-keeping 6 feet between you and others, staying home if

you are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, wearing a facemask only if you are sick, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces with bleach wipes or a sanitizing spray.                                                                                          

Please visit www.cdc.gov for additional information on mass gatherings.

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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SOUTHWEST DISTRICT HEALTH CALL CENTER ADDS WEEKEND HOURS FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT OF FIRST COVID-19 CASE IN IDAHO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT HEALTH CALL CENTER ADDS WEEKEND HOURS FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT OF FIRST COVID-19 CASE IN IDAHO

CALDWELL, IDAHO –  The COVID-19 Call Center operated by Southwest District Health will be open Saturday, March 14, 2020 and Sunday, March 15, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to help handle increased call volume from concerned citizens.

Southwest District Health continues to closely monitor the rapidly changing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.  Everyone can make an effort to keep themselves healthy by:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water
  • Avoiding touching eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands
  • Keeping a distance of at least six feet from people who appear to have respiratory illness
  • Covering your coughs with a tissue or coughing into your elbow
  • Cleaning often touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

For more information and more details about novel coronavirus, visit  https://swdh.id.gov/coronavirus/ or https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICTS ISSUE GUIDANCE FOR MASS GATHERINGS AND PUBLIC EVENTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICTS ISSUE GUIDANCE FOR MASS GATHERINGS AND PUBLIC EVENTS

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the seven local Public Health Districts have developed guidance for event and venue managers to assist with decisions regarding mass gatherings and public events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Idaho public health experts, the Department of Health and Welfare and all local Public Health Districts, will support any decision made by a venue or event manager to postpone or cancel mass gatherings and public events. For the purpose of this guidance, mass gatherings and events are defined as a public gathering for business, social, academic or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, educational, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.

Idaho public health experts recommend postponing or canceling mass gatherings and public events in any of the following situations:

  • The event will draw audiences or participants from communities, states, or countries with confirmed community spread of COVID-19 disease. Your local public health district can assist you in making this determination.
  • The event will be held indoors and bring together more than 250 individuals where social distancing of 6 feet or more is unlikely or not possible.
  • The event’s primary audience includes or may expose high-risk populations, including adults over the age of 60 years and people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes, regardless of the number of attendees.

Idaho public health experts recommend event and venue managers consider using virtual gatherings (e.g., webinar, video conferencing, live stream, etc.) as a mechanism to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure to the general public and vulnerable populations, when possible.

Idaho public health experts recommend that facilities housing large numbers of people (such as long-term care facilities, jails and corrections, shelters, etc.) implement policies now to minimize risk to their populations by limiting visitors, providing proper handwashing and hygiene facilities for staff, visitors and residents and enhancing screening for staff and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19 generally include flu-like symptoms, a fever of 100.4°F or higher and/or respiratory infection symptoms including cough and shortness of breath.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. We all must takes steps now to protect ourselves and others, including washing hands often, practicing social distancing–-keeping 6 feet between you and others, staying home if you are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, wearing a facemask only if you are sick, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces with bleach wipes or a sanitizing spray.

For more information and more details about novel coronavirus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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SOUTHWEST DISTRICT HEALTH CHANGES CALL CENTER HOURS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT HEALTH CHANGES CALL CENTER HOURS

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Effective Monday, March 9, 2020 the hours for the Southwest District Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) call center will be changed to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The call center began taking calls on Wednesday, March 4 at 8 a.m. and as of March 5th at 8 p.m. had handled 73 calls. The nature of the calls was primary travel related questions.

Southwest District Health continues to closely monitor the rapidly changing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. There are no confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Idaho and the risk to the Idaho public is still believed to be low. However, this virus is likely to spread to new areas including our region.

Everyone can make an effort to keep themselves healthy by:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water
  • Avoiding touching eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands
  • Keeping a distance of at least six feet from people who appear to have respiratory illness
  • Covering your coughs with a tissue or coughing into your elbow
  • Cleaning often touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

For more information and more details about novel coronavirus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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SOUTHWEST DISTRICT HEALTH SETS UP CALL CENTER TO ANSWER CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) CALLS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT HEALTH SETS UP CALL CENTER TO ANSWER CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) CALLS

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health (SWDH) is closely monitoring the rapidly changing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Staff are working with state agencies, other public health districts, and healthcare providers around the state, and are prepared to respond when someone is sick with COVID-19 or has been exposed. To help handle the increasing volume of calls from concerned citizens, Southwest District Health staff and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers will set up a call center beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. The call center will operate between the hours of 8am and 8pm, Monday through Friday, and can be reached at (208) 455-5411.

There are no confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Idaho and the risk to the Idaho public is still believed to be low. However, this virus is likely to spread to new areas including our region. “Many people don’t realize that the virus causing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is different than the typical coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans. The same precautions should be taken to avoid any coronaviruses and other respiratory diseases such as the flu,” said Southwest District Health Epidemiologist Cheryl Craig.

Everyone can make an effort to keep themselves healthy by:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water
  • Avoiding touching eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands
  • Keeping a distance of at least six feet from people who appear to have respiratory illness
  • Covering your coughs with a tissue or coughing into your elbow
  • Cleaning often touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first. The medical provider can suggest precautions to help reduce the spread of your illness at the medical facility.

For more information and more details about novel coronavirus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317 or (208) 899-1268

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Human West Nile Virus Cases Identified in Washington County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Human West Nile Virus Cases Identified in Washington County

Health Officials Encourage Taking Precautions

Mosquitoes trapped in Owyhee County have tested positive for West Nile virus. The mosquitoes carrying the virus were trapped south of Homedale. This area is not located inside a mosquito abatement district.

Canyon, Gem, Elmore, and Twin Falls counties have also reported positive WNV results in some of their mosquito traps.

Residents are encouraged to take extra precautions to avoid being bitten. Precautions include draining any standing water on your property and wearing repellent when outdoors.

West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness that is usually spread to animals and humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Although most infections do not cause symptoms, one out of five who become infected with West Nile virus show symptoms such as fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph nodes, or a skin rash. These symptoms can last for only a few days, or may last for several weeks. Symptoms typically occur from 2 to 14 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. There is no specific treatment, but in more severe cases, people usually need hospitalization.

For more information on West Nile visit https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/prevention/index.html
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Media Contact:
Katrina Williams
Southwest District Health
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
(208) 455-5317

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