North Idaho coronavirus cases rise to 44

| April 5, 2020 12:17 PM

The Panhandle Health District has announced the total number of cases of COVID-19 has risen to 44 in the Panhandle area. Forty-two of the cases are in Kootenai County and two in Bonner County.

Details on new cases will be posted on the PHD website page in real time: www.panhandlehealthdistrict.org/covid-19/.

PHD will make a daily announcement if there are confirmed cases within the Panhandle at noon, 7 days a week.

“We have community transmission in Kootenai County,” Katherine Hoyer, PHD public information officer, said. “Some of the confirmed cases are not connected to travel or contact with a confirmed case. We continue to urge the public to adhere to the stay-home order made by Governor Little and the 30 day slow the spread guidance by the Federal government. We know practicing social distancing strategies can slow the spread of this virus, but we need everyone to do their part.”

The Panhandle area includes the five northern counties — Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah, Bonner, and Boundary.

In the United States, there have been 304,826 cases and 7,616 deaths as of April 5, 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Numbers released by the CDC are tabulated at 4 p.m. the day before reporting and may not reflecting current totals.

Epidemiologists with PHD are working to investigate cases of possible contact. All household members of confirmed cases have been asked to self-isolate at home for a prescribed period of time. If other people are found to have been exposed, health officials will provide guidance to these individuals and they will be asked to self-monitor for the development of symptoms.

PHD will continue to monitor the situation closely and are working with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, city and county leaders, schools, emergency management, healthcare providers, and our community at large to help prevent the spread of this virus.

People ill with coronavirus in other states and countries have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If community members have these symptoms and are concerned, they should call PHD’s call center at 1-877-415-5225 or their provider. PHD will provide an over-the-phone assessment to determine if someone should be tested. Please call, do not come into PHD or your provider’s office. Tested individuals must stay home until test results are received. If the test is positive, all household members must self-isolate at home for a recommended period of time.

Individuals may also call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-330-3010. They can provide answers to the following:

• General COVID-19 Information

• Essential businesses

• Unemployment & food stamps

• Mental health

• Childcare

• Small business loans

Information: panhandlehealthdistrict.org/covid-19/