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County Health Alert Levels Reassessed; No Changes Made

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 23, 2020

County health alert levels reassessed; no changes made

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health staff reassessed county health alert levels. Daily incidence rates
continue to edge up across the majority of the district. Based on data available for October 4, 2020 – October
17, 2020, no changes were made to the health alert levels. The information included in determining county
health alert levels is listed below.
ADAMS COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Gray
Adams County will remain in the gray health alert level, with only five new cases of COVID-19 reported between
October 4, 2020 and October 17, 2020. Adams County had an incidence rate of 0.84 daily new cases per 10,000
people which shows a low risk to the community. There were no reported cases of COVID-19 in Adams County
schools during the date range analyzed.
CANYON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange
Canyon County will remain in the orange health alert level due to a slightly increasing COVID-19 daily incidence
rate1 and an increasing rate of cluster outbreaks from community gatherings. Canyon County has a daily
incidence rate of 2.37 daily new cases per 10,000 people which is trending up. Only 53.7% of COVID-19 cases
have reported knowing where they were exposed, which points to sustained community spread. SWDH
investigators are continuing to see cases exposed through out of state travel as well as community gatherings.
Eight congregate living facilities are seeing cluster outbreaks2

. Additionally, multiple schools in Canyon County
are reporting an outbreak or transmission within the school. Note: Canyon County will remain in the orange
health alert level until sufficient data shows that metrics are met for either the higher or lower level. Canyon
County is seeing a similar increase in cases as compared with Ada County. SWDH uses a 4 level system, whereas
CDH uses a 3 level system. This can explain why there are differing levels for the two closely entwined counties.
GEM COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Yellow
Gem County will remain in the yellow health alert level, due to a slightly increasing incidence rate and decreased
frequency of cluster outbreaks. Gem County currently has a daily incidence rate of 1.58 daily cases per 10,000
people, which is increasing. Two congregate care facilities in Gem County are facing sustained COVID-19
outbreaks. 79.49% of new cases that were contacted knew where they were exposed to COVID-19, which is
trending down and points to sustained community transmission. One school is reporting a cluster outbreak with
transmission occurring within the school.
OWYHEE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Yellow
Owyhee County will remain in the yellow health alert level, due to an increasing COVID-19 daily incidence rate
and evidence of community spread. Owyhee County currently has a daily incidence rate of 1.57 daily cases per
10,000 people, which is increasing. SWDH epidemiologists are seeing cluster outbreaks as a result of exposure in
1 The incidence rate measures how many cases occur each day, and standardizes this value by population. SWDH measures the daily incidence rate per
10,000 population using the following calculation: daily confirmed and probable cases are averaged over the two-week period. This value is divided by
the county population, and then multiplied by 10,000 to find the daily incidence per 10,000.
2 According to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, “Long-term care facility means a nursing home, assisted living facility, or intermediate care
facility. There are just over 400 long-term care facilities in Idaho. Outbreak means at least one lab-confirmed COVID-19-positive case associated with a
facility.”

Page 2
News release – 10.23.2020
workplaces, households, community events, as well as out of state travel. Only 41.67% of cases report knowing
where they were exposed to COVID-19, which points to sustained community spread. There was one sporadic,
imported case of COVID-19 within Owyhee County schools during the two-week date range with no evidence of
transmission within schools.
PAYETTE COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Red
Payette County is to remain in the red health alert level, due to a high COVID-19 daily incidence rate, as well as
evidence of a high positivity rate. Payette County has a daily incidence rate of 3.82 daily new cases per 10,000
people which is increasing. Only 49.15% of confirmed cases know where they were exposed to COVID-19, which
in decreasing and points to sustained community spread. SWDH epidemiologists are concerned by cluster
outbreaks within local workplace settings, households, and as a result of travel. Payette County has a test
positivity rate of 12.94%, which is decreasing but still very high. Multiple Payette County schools are seeing
cluster outbreaks with transmission occurring within schools.
WASHINGTON COUNTY – Health Alert Level: Orange
Washington County will remain in the orange health alert level, due to a high daily incidence rate and a high
positivity rate. Washington County currently has a daily incidence rate of 2.32 daily cases per 10,000 people,
which is decreasing. The positivity rate for Washington County is 9.35%, which is decreasing but still much
higher than we would like to see. Washington County schools are currently seeing sporadic, imported cases with
a cluster outbreak occurring within one school.
SCHOOL DATA
The following information is available as of October 23, 2020:
Adams: Isolation: 0, Quarantine: 0
Canyon: Isolation: 54, Quarantine: 339
Gem: Isolation: 2, Quarantine: 17
Owyhee: Isolation: 2, Quarantine: 11
Payette: Isolation: 2, Quarantine: 26
Washington: Isolation: 3, Quarantine: 4
Total: Isolation: 63 Quarantine: 397
The number quarantined is reflective of the number of staff and students currently in quarantine on the day the
data are pulled and may not account for individuals who have been released from quarantine or are just
entering quarantine. Those in quarantine have been identified as a close contact of a positive case and are being
asked to stay home for 14 days to monitor for symptoms.
The isolation cases represent those who are currently positive for COVID-19. Also, those who are in isolation are
asked to isolate away from others for a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms to prevent further
spread of the infection.

Page 3
News release – 10.23.2020
The following information represents students and teachers who tested positive for COVID-19 between
10/11/20-10/17/20 is available.

District Students Teachers
Caldwell School District 7 1
Nampa School District 8 4
Parma School District 2 1
Private/Charter School (Canyon Co) 1 2
Vallievue School District 9 0
Emmett School District 2 0
Bruneau Grand View School District 2 0
Marsing School District 0 1
Payette School District 4 0
Weiser School District 1 2

Region 3 data are available on the Southwest District Health website at: https://phd3.idaho.gov/covid19/.
Please visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ for statewide information. Questions may be directed to the SWDH
COVID-19 Call Center Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 208-455-5411.

#

Media Contacts: Katrina Williams Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
Ashley Anderson Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov

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