Daily incidence rates edge upward; no changes to counties’ health alert levels this week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Daily incidence rates edge upward; no changes to counties’ health alert levels this week

CALDWELL, IDAHO – No changes were made to county health alert levels when Southwest District Health staff reassessed each county based on data available for September 20, 2020 – October 3, 2020. Daily incidence rates continue to edge up across the majority of the district. As of October 7, 2020, the daily district-wide incident rate per 10,000 is 1.92. This number is up from 1.55 per 10,000 on September 23, 2020.

The information included in determining county health alert levels is listed below.

ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray

Adams County will remain in the gray health alert level, with no new cases of COVID-19 reported between September 20, 2020, and October 3, 2020. Because there are no new cases in Adams County for this date range, the Adams County dashboard will be unavailable on the SWDH website.

CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange

Canyon County will remain in the orange health alert level with a slightly increasing COVID-19 daily incidence rate , a declining rate of cluster outbreaks, and stability in Canyon County healthcare systems. Canyon County has a daily incidence rate of 1.63 daily new cases per 10,000 people that is trending up slightly. Only 59.9% of COVID-19 cases have reported knowing where they were exposed, which is trending up but still points to sustained community spread. SWDH investigators are continuing to see cases exposed through out-of-state travel. Ten congregate living facilities are seeing cluster outbreaks . Additionally, multiple schools in Canyon County are seeing sporadic, imported cases of COVID-19, with one school reporting an outbreak or transmission within the school.

GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange

Gem County will remain in the orange health alert level due to an increasing incidence rate, increasing positivity rate, and increased frequency of cluster outbreaks. Gem County currently has a daily incidence rate of 3.00 daily cases per 10,000 people, which increased slightly. Three congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing sustained COVID-19 outbreaks. 85.11% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is trending up but still points to sustained community transmission. Multiple schools are seeing cluster outbreaks and transmission within the school.

OWYHEE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray

Owyhee County will remain in the gray health alert level due to a low COVID-19 incidence rate, as well as all cluster outbreaks, being a result of essential gatherings such as workplace or household exposure. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 0.73 daily cases per 10,000 people, which increased slightly. There was report of one sporadic, imported case of COVID-19 within Owyhee County schools during the two-week date range. Staff and students are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red

Payette County is to remain in the red health alert level due to a continually increasing COVID-19 incidence rate, as well as evidence of cluster outbreaks within schools. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 3.91 daily new cases per 10,000 people that is increasing. Only 58.42% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks from essential gatherings such as local workplace settings and household clusters. Epidemiologists are also concerned with an increased frequency of cases exposed to while traveling out-of-state. Multiple Payette County schools are seeing sporadic, isolated cases with one school experiencing a sustained cluster outbreak. Additionally, many Payette County residents share their border communities with Oregon residents, who are also seeing uncontrolled outbreaks in workplaces and throughout the community.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange

Washington County will remain in the orange health alert level due to an increasing daily incidence rate and a high positivity rate. Washington County has a daily incidence rate of 3.94 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing. However, many new cases in Washington County are associated with isolated cluster outbreaks that pose little risk to the community at large. SWDH epidemiologists are considering this fact when determining alert levels for Washington County. The positivity rate for Washington County is 16.81%, which is increasing. Washington County schools are currently seeing sporadic, imported cases with transmission occurring within one school..

SCHOOL DATA

To comply with appropriate privacy regulations and constraints, Southwest District Health does not release information on cases within schools on a school-specific or building-specific basis. Individual schools or school districts determine what information to release regarding cases based on legal counsel advice and constraints of privacy regulations.

The following county-level summary of COVID-19 cases in schools is available as of today, October 8, 2020:

Adams: Quarantine: 0
Canyon: Isolation: 18, Quarantine: 150
Gem: Isolation: 4, Quarantine: 95
Owyhee: Isolation: 1, Quarantine: 14
Payette: Isolation: 20, Quarantine: 34
Washington: Isolation: 3, Quarantine: 7
Total: Isolation: 46 Quarantine: 300

The number quarantined is reflective of the number of staff and students currently in quarantine 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.

The isolation cases represent those who are currently positive for COVID-19. Also, those who are in isolation are asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of 10 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.

[1] The incidence rate measures how many cases occur each day, and standardizes this value by population. SWDH measures the daily incidence rate per 10,000 population using the following calculation: daily confirmed and probable cases are averaged over the two-week period. This value is divided by the county population, and then multiplied by 10,000 to find the daily incidence per 10,000.
[2] According to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, “Long-term care facility means a nursing home, assisted living facility, or intermediate care facility. There are just over 400 long-term care facilities in Idaho. Outbreak means at least one lab-confirmed COVID-19-positive case associated with a facility.”

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Media Contacts: 

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

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