Community spread of COVID-19 detected in Twin Falls County
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Community spread of COVID-19 detected in Twin Falls County

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St. Luke's opens coronavirus testing tents in Twin Falls

People wait in their cars to be tested for the coronavirus Thursday at St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS COUNTY — South Central Public Health District have confirmed more than one case of novel coronavirus with no out-of-state travel and no identified contact with another person with confirmed COVID-19.

Community spread means at least one person has been infected with the virus in an area who is not sure how or where they became infected. These individuals under investigation did not travel and had no identified contact with another person with COVID-19. Public Health officials expect more confirmed cases in the community.

The health department reported 32 cases in Twin Falls County as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

“We’ve already seen this in several counties in Idaho. It is safe to assume the virus could be anywhere in our community,” said Melody Bowyer, SCPHD Director. “Social distancing becomes even more critical in times like this. We have to work together as a community to slow the spread of this virus.”

Based on recent guidance from Idaho Health and Welfare, investigation into counties with confirmed community spread will now include limited contact investigation.

“This means we will only be reaching out to warn close contacts that are considered high-risk by the CDC or live in the same household,” said Tanis Maxwell, SCPHD epidemiologist. “For the rest of the community, we urge you to take precautions in all public areas. Stay home whenever possible to help slow the spread.”

The state reported Thursday that there have been 891 cases of COVID-19 in Idaho, and 56 people have been hospitalized. Of those, nine patients have died.

South Central Public Health District is reporting 351 cases in Blaine County, one in Camas County, three in Cassia County, one in Gooding County, eight in Jerome County, five in Lincoln County and one in Minidoka County.

South Central Public Health District is running two hotlines for information about COVID-19. One in English at 208-737-1138, and one in Spanish, at 208-737-5965. These hotlines run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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