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Community spread of coronavirus confirmed in south central Idaho

Coronavirus
Posted at 2:27 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 16:27:19-04

BLAINE COUNTY, Idaho — South Central Public Health District and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare confirmed a case of COVID-19 with no out-of-state travel and no identified contact with another person. The case was announced on March 18.

The person is a man from Blaine County in his 40s. He presented very mild symptoms and is recovering well at home.

Community spread is when at least one person has been infected with the virus in an area who is not sure how or where they become infected. The man did not travel and had no identified contact with another person who has coronavirus.

Public Health Officials expect more confirmed cases in the community.

“It no longer matters where it started, this virus is now in our community. It is important that we take precautions to slow the spread and protect the most vulnerable among us,” said Logan Hudson, SCPHD Public Health Division Administrator. “We urge residents to follow public health recommendations to stay home as much as possible to help protect themselves and their communities.”

To slow the spread of the virus, please take the following recommended actions:

  • Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts where social distancing is not achievable; instead use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options.
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • Cancel visits to nursing homes, retirement, and long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

So far, the investigation has not linked the community spread case with the first four cases reported in Blaine County, or to the single case reported in Twin Falls county. The SCPHD epidemiology team has been working to identify anybody who had close contact with the confirmed cases. Those people are being monitored for symptoms.

South Central Public Health District is running two hotlines for information about COVID-19. One in English at (208) 737-1138, and one in Spanish, at (208) 737-5965. These hotlines are currently running from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Please refer to https://phd5.idaho.gov/coronavirus for the latest local numbers and https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for Idaho-specific information and guidance.