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COVID-19 numbers jump in eastern Idaho; about 77 percent of infected now presumed recovered statewide

Coronavirus

IDAHO FALLS — The number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases is creeping up again, both statewide and in eastern Idaho.

Across the state

During the past week, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports an increase from 2,731 cases on Wednesday, May 27, to 2,990 on Wednesday, June 3. Of those positive cases, about 77 percent have now lived at least 30 days since initial infection and are presumed recovered.

The vast majority of infected individuals will recover from COVID-19 at home. Only 253 people in the entire state have required hospitalization.

IDHW also reports 83 deaths have now been tied to COVID-19. Of that number, a test confirmed 63, and 20 are considered probable. A case is considered probable if a person has not been tested, or a test is pending, and the person has all the symptoms of COVID-19, have come into direct contact with an infected person and developed symptoms within the expected timeframe.

In eastern Idaho

The most recent death was a 65-year-old Pocatello man. He was the first COVID-19 death in eastern Idaho.

Since mid-March, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in eastern Idaho has remained fairly low, but now it appears to be picking up.

This week, the number of confirmed or probable cases jumped from 109 to 172, according to Eastern Idaho Public Health and the Southeast Idaho Public Health District. Of that number, 72 individuals are still symptomatic and are being monitored by the district. That’s up from 13 from last week.

The increase is partially due to an outbreak at Idaho Falls Potter’s House Christian Center in late May. At least 30 people were infected at the center.

About 100 eastern Idahoans have now recovered from the coronavirus, according to both health districts.

Testing and precautions

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

After weeks of being shut down, the state is reopening more each week. For more information about Gov. Brad Little’s plans to reopen the state, visit Idaho Rebounds.

EIPH recommends people follow COVID-19 risk reduction strategies:

  • Staying home if sick.
  • Practicing self-distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals).
  • Wearing a fabric face covering or mask when in public settings where other social
    distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or our sleeve.
  • 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 or using hand sanitizer.
  • Limiting close contact with people who are sick.

Since restrictions on gatherings have loosened, EIPH says most new COVID-19 cases are linked to gatherings where people attended while ill and social distancing was not followed.

“We understand that social connections are vitally important to people, but we also want people to take precautions when interacting with others to minimize the opportunities for COVID-19 to be spread,” EIPH Director Geri Rackow said in a news release.

Health officials say to contact them if someones been exposed to COVID-19 or exposure has occurred at your business, organization, event, etc. EIPH can be reached at its COVID-19 hotline at (208) 522-0310. SIPH’s hotline is reached at (208) 234-5875.

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