(EIPH) — Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH) (which serves Bonneville, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, and Teton counties) is confirming the first case of COVID19 in a Clark County resident. The case is a male in his 50s and acquired the virus via community transmission. Community transmission means the spread of illness for which the source of the infection is unknown and cannot be connected to close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. If during our epidemiological case investigation individuals are identified as case contacts, they will be notified by public health and given guidance on the next steps. Clark County is the last of our eight counties to have a COVID-19 case reported in their county.
We have seen a continual increase in COVID-19 cases over the month of July. As of today, there are 198 active cases of COVID-19 in our 8-county region compared to 42 active cases on July 1, a 400+% increase. An active case is one that is currently being monitored by EIPH during their infectious period. Once a case is released from monitoring, they are no longer considered an active case and are free to end their isolation and resume their normal daily activities. The number of active cases is a significant number as that is one of the metrics that is used in our COVID-19 Regional Response Plan to determine which mitigation strategies to implement to help slow the spread of the virus in our communities.
As with increased cases of COVID-19, we have also seen an increase in the number of people being hospitalized due to COVID-19. On July 1, three individuals were hospitalized due to COVID-19. As of today, that number has increased to 14, a 400+% increase, as well. To note, the number of people in the hospital for COVID-19 only reflects the hospitalization of residents of our 8-county region and does not account for people that reside out of our health district.
We cannot stress enough at this time the importance of individuals taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Our goal is to get the kids back to school, keep businesses open, maintain the highest level of care at our hospitals, and protect public health. This can be achieved by doing the following:
Maintaining physical distance (at least 6 feet) between people not of the same household, wearing a face covering in public when you are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself of others not of the same household, washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer, staying home when you are sick, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, and limiting attendance at large gatherings when physical distancing is not possible.
Details on all our confirmed and probable cases along with other useful data regarding the pandemic can be found on our dashboard located on our website at www.EIPH.Idaho.gov. The link is below the case count graph on the main page.
Also, EIPH has a call center to answer questions regarding COVID-19. Call 208-522-0310 or toll free at 855-533-3160 to speak with someone. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition, questions can be submitted via email to COVIDQuestions@eiph.idaho.gov or asked through our Facebook page at @EIPH.Idaho.