TWIN FALLS — The South Central Public Health District has released its bi-weekly COVID-19 risk level assessment for the Magic Valley. Seven of the eight counties are in the Moderate Level and only one, Camas County, is at the minimal risk level.
Numbers are OK at the moment, however, health officials want people to still be mindful of potential risks during the next few weeks.
“Our community is not at the same extreme level of risk that we were just a few weeks ago, so that is great news," said Brianna Bodily, spokesperson for the South Central Public Health District. "I just hope people understand, this doesn't mean please go out and celebrate with all of your friends.”
The primary issue in the Magic Valley at this point in time is not high case numbers, it is the strain currently being felt by our regional hospital.
“Our regional hospital is now saying that they’re back into high impact again," said Bodily. "This isn’t because of COVID-19, this is a staffing situation, they have a shortage, and they’re catching up on a lot of cases that they weren't able to access and be able to treat when they had to focus so closely on COVID-19 cases.”
Although things are looking better, the health district does have concerns about family and friends gathering over the holidays.
“It’s not just getting together with family, but a lot of people travel, a lot of people travel to different states as well," said Bodily. "So there is a lot of back and forth, there’s a lot of gathering from a whole bunch of different areas, and that always causes concern that there will be a transfer of disease.”
Now that the omicron variant is in the state, health officials are encouraging people to take safety protocols seriously so that the current risk levels remain the same.
“You know what you need to do to help prevent the spread of disease, this is the time to implement it," said Bodily. "If you haven’t been up until now, now it’s a great time to start. If you have been up until now, please keep it up, it’s making a difference.”