COVID-19 mask

Jackson business owners asked the town to pass a mask ordinance after expressing frustration with customers rebuffing requests for voluntary compliance. The Jackson Town Council complied with a vote in a special meeting Friday.

Eastern Idaho Public Health reported a third case of COVID-19 in Teton County on Friday afternoon, June 19. This new case is related to the first reported case this week stemming from the West Side Yard in Victor said Eastern Idaho Public Health. The case is still under investigation.

This third case is on the heels of two other new cases in Teton County last week. One of those cases was traced to the Victor restaurant and bar, the West Side Yard. That case lead to EIPH to issue a public announcement on Tuesday that the person had patronized West Side Yard in Victor on Saturday, June 13 from 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The restaurant closed for cleaning and seven staff members are now in quarantined.

The district has seen 150 total cases and is reporting that 119 have been released since testing positive for COVID-19.

Teton Valley Hospital CEO Keith Gnagey said on Friday that the third person to test positive is a male in his thirties who has not been hospitalized. All three of these cases are local people. Gnagey encouraged people with symptoms of COVID to call the TVH nurse line which is manned seven days a week, 24 hours a day at (208-354-2383).

According to the Idaho Press, Idaho reported 92 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest figure since April 9, after tallying 78 new cases on Tuesday. All told, Idaho’s now seen 3,632 coronavirus infections since the outbreak began, and 88 deaths, including one in the EIPH district. In the only bright spot in the new figures Tuesday and Wednesday, there were no new deaths.

The sharp rise in cases comes after Idaho moved into Stage 4 of its economic reopening on Saturday, June 13, allowing all Idaho businesses to reopen if they can meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. However, some have gone back to business as usual, allowing crowds to mix and shunning face masks or other preventive measures.

The second-highest tally of new cases among Idaho counties on Wednesday came in Twin Falls, with 11 new infections; Owyhee and Washington counties each had eight, and Minidoka had six. Canyon County had two new cases Wednesday and seven on Tuesday.

Symptoms of COVID-19: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, sore throat, headache, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or a new loss of taste or smell. Research shows that symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If symptoms develop, please contact a healthcare provider for evaluation and potential testing.

“COVID-19 is present in our communities. In fact, all of the counties within EIPH’s region with active cases include documented community transmission. That means when someone tests positive for COVID-19, we have not been able to determine the source of their exposure to the virus, which is true for this most recent case in Teton County. Interactions with others, especially those that occur in close contact without wearing cloth face coverings, puts individuals at greater risk for being exposed and potentially becoming infected with COVID-19. This is why we cannot let our guard down, but must continue to practice preventive measures to protect ourselves and others until this pandemic is over,” said Geri Rackow, District Director for EIPH in the press release.

Staying home when you are sick is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Practicing other risk reduction strategies are also vital and include:

• Practicing physical distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals).

• Wearing a fabric face covering or mask when in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

• Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer.

• Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.

• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Stay Informed

Details on all cases can be found on the data dashboard located on at www.EIPH.Idaho.gov. 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 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, questions can be submitted via email to COVIDQuestions@eiph.idaho.gov or asked through the EIPH Facebook page at @EIPH.Idaho.

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