TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Several towns in Blaine County have rescinded their COVID-19 safety measures, and while things are beginning to look better across the Magic Valley, health officials still have some concerns.
“Our positivity rates are dropping," said Brianna Bodily, the spokesperson for the South Central Public Health District. "They’re still very, very high, but we’re seeing a big drop which means we still have a lot of disease circulating in our community, but the situation is getting much better.”
Despite positivity rates decreasing, the primary concern that health officials have is how an increase in case counts could impact local hospitals.
“If our hospitals can’t take care or give us the level of care that we expect then it’s going to impact everybody," said Bodily. "From the kid down the street who slipped on his bicycle and broke his leg, to the woman who has been waiting to deliver her baby, to the person who got into a car accident yesterday, to that person who has an infectious disease. It affects all of us.”
Now, while the health district provides recommendations and information on ways cities or towns could go about mitigating spread, implementing policy is ultimately decided by elected officials.
“At no point when we give that guidance are we saying you absolutely must do this," said Bodil. "We’re saying, this is a great idea, based on this science, this is what we recommend. In some cases, the community leaders follow that guidance, and in some cases, they don’t or incorporate some of it.”
Since the majority of the Magic Valley does not have any sort of COVID-19 safety protocols mandated, it comes down to personal responsibility to protect one's health.
“If you’re feeling sick don’t go, do it for the good of everybody," said Bodily. "Then that second step, if you’re feeling well, just take some extra time, take a couple of extra minutes to think about, what can I do to limit the risk in my particular situation?”