12 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Blaine County, shelter-in-place order announced

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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced 12 new cases of the coronavirus in Blaine County during a press conference Thursday evening in Boise.

Gov. Brad Little announced a first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Kootenai County and 12 new cases in Blaine County. Officials have issued a shelter-in-place order for Blaine County residents (Source: CBS/KBOI)

Little talked about "community spread" and the new numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases bring the total in Blaine County to 17. The total number of cases in Idaho is 23.

During the press conference, Little announced great restrictions on residents in Blaine County to slow the spread of the virus. Those are still being outlined. Blaine County officials released a mandatory shelter-in-place order to begin Thursday night, with more details forthcoming.

Little issued the following statement after limited community spread was detected in Blaine County.

“My office and members of my Coronavirus Working Group are fully engaged with the South Central Public Health District, Blaine County Commissioners, and mayors in that area to ensure a strong response is in place. Our number one priority is to slow the spread of the virus in that community and outside of it. To ensure that happens, the director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will issue an isolation order for residents in the area. We are still working on the details, and residents will still have essential services available to them, such as access to grocery stores and, of course, healthcare.

“I am firm in my commitment to making decisions in our coronavirus planning and response based on science, not fear. Every step of the way, we have made decisions based on the best information and guidance from the CDC and our nation’s leaders, and we will continue to do so.

“I urge everyone to be even more vigilant of the preventative measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. And most of all, I continue to urge Idahoans to take care of each other. Be mindful of our actions. Find someone you can help. We will get through this together."

Two of the confirmed cases were that of health care workers, Little said, who are now in isolation. Here is a breakdown of the new cases, as reported by South Central Public Health District:

Six individuals are male: one in his 30s, four in their 40s, and one in his 50s.
Six individuals are female: one under 20 years old, two in their 30s, two in their 50s, and one in her 70s.

One of the individuals tested in Blaine County is from out-of-state, and that person's state is taking over their case investigation. The numbers of the state's website will reflect that information.

Because of the number of cases SCPHD is currently investigating, the district will no longer issue email updates for Blaine County. Press releases will still be issued for the first case in each county in the district. Please see the district's website for an updated total number of cases in each district: https://www.phd5.idaho.gov/Coronavirus/ Please see the state website for an updated total number of cases in the state: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/

The press conference was streamed on Idaho Public Television.

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