CALDWELL – No changes were made to county health alert levels when Southwest District Health staff reassessed each county based on data available for Sept. 20 – Oct. 3. Daily incidence rates continue to edge up across the majority of the district. As of Oct. 7, the daily district-wide incident rate per 10,000 is 1.92. This number is up from 1.55 per 10,000 on Sept. 23.
The information included in determining county health alert levels is listed below.
PAYETTE COUNTY - Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County is to remain in the red health alert level due to a continually increasing COVID-19 incidence rate, as well as evidence of cluster outbreaks within schools. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 3.91 daily new cases per 10,000 people that is increasing. Only 58.42% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks from essential gatherings such as local workplace settings and household clusters. Epidemiologists are also concerned with an increased frequency of cases exposed to while traveling out-of-state. Multiple Payette County schools are seeing sporadic, isolated cases with one school experiencing a sustained cluster outbreak. Additionally, many Payette County residents share their border communities with Oregon residents, who are also seeing uncontrolled outbreaks in workplaces and throughout the community.
WASHINGTON COUNTY - Health Alert Level: Orange
Washington County will remain in the orange health alert level due to an increasing daily incidence rate and a high positivity rate. Washington County has a daily incidence rate of 3.94 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is increasing. However, many new cases in Washington County are associated with isolated cluster outbreaks that pose little risk to the community at large. SWDH epidemiologists are considering this fact when determining alert levels for Washington County. The positivity rate for Washington County is 16.81%, which is increasing. Washington County schools are currently seeing sporadic, imported cases with transmission occurring within one school.
To comply with appropriate privacy regulations and constraints, Southwest District Health does not release information on cases within schools on a school-specific or building-specific basis. Individual schools or school districts determine what information to release regarding cases based on legal counsel advice and constraints of privacy regulations.
The following county-level summary of COVID-19 cases in schools is available as of Oct. 8:
Adams: Quarantine: 0
Canyon: Isolation: 18, Quarantine: 150
Gem: Isolation: 4, Quarantine: 95
Owyhee: Isolation: 1, Quarantine: 14
Payette: Isolation: 20, Quarantine: 34
Washington: Isolation: 3, Quarantine: 7
Total: Isolation: 46 Quarantine: 300
The number quarantined is reflective of the number of staff and students currently in quarantine on the day the data are pulled and may not account for individuals who have been released from quarantine or are just entering quarantine. Those in quarantine have been identified as a close contact of a positive case and are being asked to stay home for 14 days to monitor for symptoms.
The isolation cases represent those who are currently positive for COVID-19. Also, those who are in isolation are asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms to prevent further spread of the infection.
Region 3 data are available on the Southwest District Health website at: https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/. You may visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information. Questions may be directed to the SWDH COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (208) 455-5411.