CALDWELL — COVID-19 continues to spread throughout District 3 with increased rates of community transmission, declining daily incidence rates, and increasing positivity rates. A slight decline in daily incidence rate paired with an increase in test positivity rate indicates a decreased frequency of COVID-19 testing, not cases. 

This is based on data available for the date range of Dec. 20 – Jan. 2. Currently, all six counties within the jurisdiction of Public Health District 3 are at the red health alert level. As of Jan. 2, the daily district-wide incidence rate per 10,000 population is 4.81.

Southwest District health has expressed gratitude to residents of District 3 for continuing to follow current recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, all six counties in the district continue to experience community spread, which puts people living in and visiting these communities at higher risk for exposure. 

It is the goal of Southwest District Health to work our way back to a place where we have no community spread.

The information used in determining county health alert levels is provided below.

PAYETTE COUNTY - Health Alert Level: Red

Payette County will remain in the red health alert level, due to a very high positivity rate and evidence of sustained community spread. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 4.47 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is decreasing. However, Payette County has a test positivity rate of 22.30%, which is increasing and shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show.

Only 41.32% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. The agency’s epidemiologists are concerned by cluster outbreaks within local workplace settings, including Idaho and Oregon workplaces, as well as community gatherings and holiday events. 

Primary schools in Payette County are on winter break, which limits the possibility of continued cluster outbreaks and transmission within schools. Sporadic cases among students are still being reported, with transmission occurring among household members.

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Health Alert Level: Red

Washington County will remain in the red health alert level, due to an elevated daily incidence rate and a high positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 5.55 daily cases per 10,000 people, which is decreasing. The positivity rate for Washington County is 9.68%, which is decreasing but still shows that COVID-19 is more prevalent in the community than our data show. Only 57.75% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. 

Epidemiologists are seeing transmission occurring primarily within households and workplaces. Primary schools in Washington County are on winter break, which limits the possibility of continued cluster outbreaks and transmission within schools. 

Sporadic cases among students are still being reported, with transmission occurring among household members.

Weekly cases by school district

During the week of Dec. 27 – Jan. 2, all schools within the district are on winter break. No in-person or remote learning took place during this week.

The following represents data on the number of staff and students currently in quarantine and isolation as of Jan. 6, 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. Those in isolation are currently positive for COVID-19 and are asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms to prevent further spread of the infection.

• Payette County: 7 students and staff in quarantine, 1 in isolation

• Washington County: 3 in quarantine, 3 in isolation

• Total for District 3: 109 in quarantine, 57 in isolation

Region 3 data are available on the Southwest District Health website at https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/. Visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information. Questions may be directed to the SWDH COVID- 19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except for observed holidays) at (208) 455-5411.

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