WEISER — Washington County now has 80 reported cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, with Weiser being a hotspot for cases, according to Southwest District Health.

According to an article in Living in the News, Weiser Mayor Randy Hubbard reported that two people were taken to other hospitals by Life Flight over the weekend and one hospital employee had become infected. A city employee has been diagnosed with the virus, Hubbard told Living in the News, and test results were to come on two other city workers.

The city has posted on its website that all people entering City Hall must wear a face mask. 

Plans for the 4th of July fireworks are going forward, but the parade is in limbo at this time, the mayor said and baseball will continue as long as everyone maintains safe distancing.

Community transmission of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in Washington County has been confirmed, according to a news release from Southwest District Health, after the most current case cannot be linked to the county’s other known cases of COVID-19. Community transmission, or community spread, is when public health professionals cannot specify an origin for an infection, such as tracing it to specific travel, family events, social gatherings, or contact with a specific individual. 

Washington County saw a sharp increase in cases in May which were all connected to known clusters of cases at workplaces and family events.

“The risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 is increasing in Washington County. Please do your part to help slow the spread of the virus,” said Nikki Zogg, Southwest District Health District Director. Zogg urges residents to continue to practice COVID-19 risk reduction strategies including:

· Staying home if sick, even when symptoms are mild.

· Practicing physical-distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals).

· Wearing a cloth face covering or mask when in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

· Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or 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.

Southwest District Health recently added a data dashboard to its website at https://phd3.idaho.gov/coronavirus. The dashboard will be updated weekly and provides information such as symptom onset, case characteristics, and health care data for COVID-like illness. COVID-19 case counts for the six-county region SWDH serves are also available on the website and are updated by 7 p.m. on weekdays unless otherwise noted. 

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