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Community spread confirmed in Bannock County; updates on COVID-19 deaths and recoveries

Coronavirus

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POCATELLO — Bannock County confirmed community spread of the novel coronavirus for the first time Monday, according to the Southeastern Idaho Public Health District.

The district also announced three more cases of the virus — two in Bannock County and one in Bingham. None of the cases required hospitalization. Eastern Idaho Public Health District also announced three more cases.

Between the two districts, 69 people have been positively tested for the virus in eastern Idaho. But as of Monday afternoon, only 10 of those people were still showing symptoms or being monitored by either health district. No deaths have occurred in eastern Idaho.

Statewide, 1,917 people have tested positive for the virus since testing began in mid-March, but 1,039 people have now lived at least 30 days since initial infection, and are presumed recovered, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The death toll rose to 58 Monday. All of the deaths have been in western and central Idaho.

Out of all the cases, 172 cases have required hospitalization. Most of those patients have or are expected to recover, according to state health officials.

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The number of COVID-19 tests available in Idaho continues to grow daily. However, public health officials continue to warn that due to initial testing limitations, the actual number of coronavirus cases may be much higher than is being reported.

EIPH says it’s more important than ever to follow the recommendations and directions of federal, state and local health officials, including the following:

  • Following the stay-home order, which was announced by Gov. Brad Little on March 25 and was extended through April 30. A copy of the order can be found at www.EIPH.Idaho.gov.
  • Practicing social-distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals), avoiding crowds of any number, and eliminating all non-essential travel, as detailed in the order.
  • Staying home when sick even if your symptoms are mild. A symptom-monitoring checklist and decision tree was recently developed to help individuals and employers determine what they should do if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been primarily or secondarily exposed to a person with COVID-19 symptoms. A copy of these documents can be found at www.EIPH.Idaho.gov. This monitoring tool can be used daily by everyone to assess their health during this pandemic.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • People with an increased risk of severe illness (older adults and those with underlying health conditions) should take extra precautions to avoid exposure to COVID-19.

For questions, guidance, and information about COVID-19, visit EIPH’s website at www.EIPH.Idaho.gov or call the hotline number at (208) 522-0310 or (855) 533-3160 (toll free). The hotline is active Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has also started a statewide hotline. It can be reached by calling 888-330-3010, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

See eastidahonews.com/outbreak for national numbers.

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