IDAHO FALLS — Idaho saw a spike in new coronavirus cases this week partly due to reported outbreaks at food processing plants in Burley and Jerome.
The number of new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 has increased by about 225.
On Wednesday evening, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 2,731 positive cases in the Gem State. Of those about 80 percent have now lived at least 30 days since initial infection and are presumed recovered.
The death toll rose from 77 to 82 since last week. Of those 62 were confirmed with a PCR test. The other 20 were not tested but died with COVID-like symptoms and with evidence that they had been exposed to the virus. The most recent deaths have all been in Twin Falls County.
No one in eastern Idaho has died of the novel coronavirus.
Eastern Idaho has seen an increase in cases, from 98 a week ago to 109 people who have now tested positive for the virus, according to Eastern Idaho Public Health and the Southeast Idaho Public Health District. As of Wednesday evening, 13 of those people were still showing symptoms or being monitored by either health district.
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 says it is still important to follow the recommendations and directions of federal, state and local health officials, including the following:
- Practicing social-distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals) and avoiding crowds.
- 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.