PAYETTE COUNTY — It has been two months since the Payette County Board of Commissioners discussed the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the county. According to Emergency Manager Adam Gonzalez, however, it’s time to resume the conversation.

“In concordance with the data changes, I’m sure you’ve been made aware the administrative judge in our area issued a new order that delayed some jury trials and has also required masks when people are here doing court business,” Gonzalez told the commissioners during the board’s regular meeting Monday.

Gonzalez delivered his latest executive briefing with new data from Southwest District Health. Following is a sample of the data provided as of Monday, as obtained by the newspaper.

• Statewide, there have now been 208,054 cases statewide, 166,737 confirmed by the Idaho Division of Public Health.

• Payette County has had 2,768 cases, 2,165 confirmed by Southwest District Health. The county’s death toll is 39.

• The county’s present positivity rate is 9.29%, with a daily incidence rate of 2.12. This rate was 19.83% on Dec. 28. 2020, according to Gonzalez.

• District-wide, average daily emergency department visits for COVID-like illnesses is 4.93, with a hospitalization rate of 5.14%. The case fatality rate is 1.4%.

• Across the district, the vaccination rate for adult residents is 32.63%. The majority of vaccines administered in the county have been the Moderna vaccine.

“This is the information (the health agency) used to determine the health alert levels, previously; Looking at that data, I would assume we’d probably be in ‘orange’” if the health alerts were presently active, said Gonzalez.

COVID-19 cases are also becoming a concern again at the Payette County Jail. As of Monday, the last two weeks have seen three inmates test positive, with one presently isolated.

The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare also reports that one long-term care facility in the county, Payette Healthcare of Cascadia, is experiencing a new outbreak. The facility stands at 26 total cases and one death, an increase from 19 cases and no deaths in June.

Gonzalez said the availability of vaccines appeared to negate any consideration of new or reintroduced restrictions at the present time. Ages 80 and over represent the highest percentage of Payette County residents vaccinated with at lease one dose, presently at 71.2%.

“That was our main goal, getting those people vaccinated,” said Gonzalez.

Vaccination was lowest among ages 12-15, with just 7.5% getting at least one dose as of Monday. Gonzalez will meet with Ambulance Director Rick Funk and emergency management specialists from Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s this week, to determine what precautions need to be taken as outbreaks continue.

In a news conference on Thursday, Gov. Brad Little urged unvaccinated Idahoans to get their vaccine as schools go back into session. Idaho remains in stage four of Little’s “Stay Healthy” order.

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