SWDH Health Alert Levels 12/16

Southwest District Health released new health alert levels for the six counties it oversees Wednesday.

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CALDWELL — For the second straight week, all of Southwest District Health’s six counties are in the red alert level per the district’s COVID-19 assessment tool as daily cases rise statewide.

In Canyon County, investigators continue to see exposure from social and community gatherings, as well as workplaces and households, the district said in a Thursday news release. Only about 62% of residents infected can pinpoint where they were exposed, “which points to sustained community spread,” according to officials.

From Nov. 29 to Dec. 12, Canyon County’s incidence rate was 8.32 per 10,000 people. Districtwide, for the same two-week period, the incidence rate was 8.21 per 10,000 people. Both rates are a slight decline from previous weeks. To reach the yellow/low alert level, average new daily cases would need to drop to fewer 2.5 per 10,000.

Eighteen congregate living facilities are reporting outbreaks in Canyon County, the district said. Area hospitals are postponing elective surgeries to conserve resources.

Multiple Canyon County schools also are being affected by the rise in cases and have reported an outbreak or transmission within their facilities, the district said. On Thursday, 171 school staff and students in Canyon County were quarantining, meaning they’ve been in contact with a positive case, and 74 were self-isolating, meaning they’ve tested positive. Quarantine is recommended for 14 days, and self-isolation for 10 days after the onset of symptoms.

The county — which has an overall testing positivity rate of 20.78% — has reported a total of 16,525 confirmed and 2,210 probable COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday evening.

The district gave the following snapshot of cases for schools in the other five counties as of Thursday:

  • Adams — Isolation: 2 (students and staff); Quarantine: 3 (students and staff)
  • Gem — Isolation: 1 (students and staff); Quarantine: 30 (students and staff)
  • Owyhee — Isolation: 4 (students and staff); Quarantine: 59 (students and staff)
  • Payette — Isolation: 9 (students and staff); Quarantine: 46 (students and staff)
  • Washington — Isolation: 6 (students and staff); Quarantine: 2 (students and staff)

Officials also provided how many students and staff tested positive for COVID-19 between Dec. 5-12 at the following school districts:

  • Nampa School District — 2 students; 2 staff
  • Middleton School District — 10 student; 0 staff
  • Parma School District — 2 students; 1 staff
  • Private/Charter School (Canyon County) — 11 students; 1 staff
  • Vallivue School District — 11 students; 1 staff
  • Payette School District — 1 student; 0 staff
  • Fruitland School District — 2 students; 0 staff
  • Weiser School District — 3 students; 0 staff
  • Emmett School District — 5 students; 0 staff

New health alert levels are released Wednesday, and more information can be found on the district’s website at phd3.idaho.gov.

Olivia Heersink is the Canyon County public safety reporter. You can reach her at oheersink@idahopress.com, or by calling 208-465-8178. Follow her on Twitter @heersinkolivia.

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