The Board of Health for Public Health-Idaho North Central District voted to move Nez Perce and Latah counties into a moderate risk level for COVID-19.
This decision was made on Thursday, October 29, 2020, at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting, and it comes after Governor Little moved Idaho back to Stage 3 of reopening.
Per their regional data tool, decisions on movement between risk levels can be triggered by:
- Hospitals implementing crisis standards of care.
- Hospitals indicating increased cases that are impacting their overall capacity.
- Deaths reported in our counties.
- Reported cases exceeding 5/10,000 population OR the rate of increased cased is adversely impacting Public Health’s ability to respond.
The Board of Health uses these data points as guidance for their decision making, as well as input received from members of the public in each county.
The first case in district 2 was recorded on March 24, and the area hit 1,000 cases on September 23, 2020, which was almost exactly six months later. The district's 2,000th case occurred on October 20, 2020. That means the area went from 1,000 to 2,000 cases in less than 30 days. The Board of Health was concerned by the dramatic increase and the adverse impact on Public Health’s ability to respond to each case.
These new levels will be re-evaluated every two weeks to determine further changes in the risk levels for each county.
The mitigation strategies that are reflected in the moderate risk level include:
- Encouraging limiting events and social gatherings to no more than 50 people.
- Encouraging vulnerable populations to take extra precautions.
- Implement strict health policies for staff and visitors to Long term care facilities
- Supporting municipalities in their efforts to require wearing face coverings while in public.
These mitigation strategies align with the Governor’s new Order released on 10-26-20.