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Heath officials: Confirmed COVID-19 cases expected to rise with testing increase in south central Idaho

(Source: KMVT)
(Source: KMVT)(KMVT)
Published: May. 19, 2020 at 8:17 PM MDT
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Health officials from South Central Public Health District are alerting residents that as organizations undergoing cluster testing for COVID-19 they can expect to see a rise in confirmed cases in targeted counties.

“We know the virus is still active in our communities and we expect this extra testing to increase our numbers,” said Tanis Maxwell, SCPHD epidemiologist, in a press release. “We will continue to investigate all confirmed cases and their close-contacts to slow the spread of COVID-19 wherever it is found.”

According to a press release, the health district has received reports of individuals and organizations ignoring guidelines, which is putting people at risk for COVID-19. The district is asking for increased vigilance on the part of community members to reduce the spread of the virus.

“Public health can educate and investigate, but we don’t have the legal authority to enforce guidelines,” Maxwell said. “This is why we ask everyone to protect their own health. If you walk into a restaurant and it is crowded—leave. If your employer asks you to work when you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, remind them that it could put more employees at risk of illness. Take steps to protect your health in every environment.”

Throughout the district, Maxwell urges residents to protect the community’s health and their own health by:

• Keeping six feet between themselves and people outside their household

• Washing their hands well and regularly, especially immediately after returning home

• Following the Governor’s Rebound Idaho program- which includes avoiding gatherings with more than 10 people until stage 4

• Wearing a mask when they interact with people outside their home, especially in public areas like grocery stores

South Central Public Health District has two informational COVID-19 hotlines: One in English at 208-737-1138, and one in Spanish, at 208-737-5965. These hotlines are currently running from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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