TWIN FALLS — The South Central Public Health District released its risk level assessment late last week, and all eight counties represented in the district have been placed into the critical risk level.
As this surge continues, the impact is being felt across numerous spectrums. Hospitals are near capacity, schools are having trouble with staffing, and now even the health district's daily operations are being affected.
The concerns from officials are also growing as they're seeing COVID-19 cases spread rapidly across the state in a variety of ways, such as in communal living areas and more.
“We have a ton of long-term care facilities that have outbreaks right now," said Brianna Bodily, the spokesperson for the South Central Public Health District. "Often, unfortunately, brought in by either visitors or staff who have been out in the community and brought them back to these more susceptible and vulnerable individuals. Then we also have a lot of spread of individuals who pick it up at some sort of event or at work and then bring it home and spread it to the rest of their family.”
The health district has a long list of daily responsibilities during times such as these, and it's been even more challenging due to the lack of resources available. This in turn has made the district's efforts to help mitigate spread very tough.
“Disease is spreading so quickly," said Bodily. "We do not have the staff, we don’t have the technology support and we don’t have the ability to reach out to every single individual like we need to, to get them the information they need.”
Now despite challenges, the health district and its staff are attempting to work as efficiently as possible to serve the community. But officials are unsure of when things may return back to normal.
“We might trickle down to a more manageable level in the next couple of months or the next couple of weeks depending on how quickly it will decrease in our state,” said Bodily.