CALDWELL – COVID-19 incidence rates across the six-county region Southwest District Health serves remain high and hospital systems are seeing the impact. The health agency serves Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties.
Since late July, all counties in the district were categorized by the Centers for Disease Control as having high levels of community transmission. As of Sept. 15, the district-wide COVID-19 incidence rate is 6.80 daily new cases per 10,000 residents and the most current test positivity rate is 18.35%.
Self-report your COVID-19 experience
The combination of a sharp increase in COVID-19 positive cases and limited staffing has created a significant backlog in COVID-19 case investigations. Southwest District Health attempts to contact each new case to learn about their exposure, illness, treatment, and outcome. This core function of local public health is done to monitor disease trends in a community, provide data that can inform decisions, and communicate risks and prevention messages.
It will be asking individuals with a positive test to use a secure online form to share their COVID-19 experience. The form asks the same questions our disease investigators would go through, but due to the current situation, the agency is unable to contact every new case in a timely manner.
Since August, the agency has averaged over 150 daily reported new cases of COVID-19. Due to the number of new cases being reported each day, it is unable to make timely contact and notification to close contacts. Close contacts should isolate at home for 14 days to help reduce the spread of the virus in our community.
“We are on a very concerning trajectory. Our hospitals are full, and we anticipate the situation will worsen before it improves ... Our community can help us by making the decision to get vaccinated, staying home when sick, avoiding the emergency department unless it is necessary, and assisting Southwest District Health by providing timely information following a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test,” said Nikki Zogg, District Director.
Call the COVID-19 Call Center at (208) 455-5411 to book your vaccine appointment or schedule a COVID-19 test. The Call Center is available Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. except for observed holidays. Community members are encouraged to visit the agency’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage for helpful vaccine resources.