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East Idaho sees first death related to COVID-19

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POCATELLO — East Idaho saw its first COVID-19-related death, according to Southeastern Idaho Public Health.

In a news release Monday morning SIPH said the 65-year-old Bannock County man who died had underlying health conditions. He also had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, was showing symptoms, and tested positive for the virus.

“My heart is with the family, friends and neighbors who are grieving,” SIPH District Director Maggie Mann said in a news release. “This loss is deeply felt by our entire community. Now more than ever, each of us must do our part to prevent the spread of this virus. We all must do what we can to keep each other safe.”

Across Idaho as of Saturday, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 2,839 cases of COVID-19 with 82 deaths.

On Wednesday, health officials said about 80 percent of those who contracted the virus in the Gem State have lived at least 30 days since initial infection and are presumed recovered.

While Idaho is opening more and more each week as part of Gov. Brad Little’s plan to reopen the state after weeks of shut down, health officials still urge people to use caution to prevent the spread of the virus.

“SIPH urges all residents to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19,” according to the news release. “This includes practicing social distancing at all times, wearing cloth face coverings in public places, practicing good hand hygiene, and isolating immediately if you show symptoms of COVID-19.”

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.

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