Health district director: Social distancing needed through summer
South Central Public Health District Director Melody Bower stressed the importance of continue to practice social distancing through summer.
Bower also talked through Gov. Brad Little's four-phase reopening plan in a
Out of the 1,917 lab confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases reported in Idaho on Monday, Bower said a large portion of those cases are in South Central's district.
"Out of those 1,900 cases, 39% of those cases are in our district," Bower said. "That is a huge a number."
She said the South Central District, which encompasses Twin Falls, Cassia, Minidoka, Jerome, Gooding, Lincoln, Camas, and Blaine counties, has the highest disease rate per 100,000 people.
"That is a benchmark measurement and it's used to measure the relative number of cases compared to a set population," she said. "And the reasons we have such a high disease rate in our district is because we have the top four counties out 44 counties in Idaho that have the highest disease rate per 100,000 people."
The top four counties in south central Idaho with the highest disease rate per thousand are Blaine County, followed by Lincoln, Twin Falls, and Jerome counties.
"No. 2 is Lincoln County, which is very surprising but it's also not so surprising because it's proximity to Blaine County," Bower said.
The numbers are indicative of the district having a high potential for the spread of the disease, said Bower, and highlight the need for the population to continue to practice social distancing through the summer.
"Social distancing is the most effective protective health measure that we can use to protect ourselves and our families," Bower said.