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New COVID-19 cases found in Twin Falls, Blaine counties
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New COVID-19 cases found in Twin Falls, Blaine counties

From the Complete coverage: What Idahoans need to know about the coronavirus series
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Coronavirus Outbreak

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. 

TWIN FALLS — A Twin Falls County man in his 80s who tested positive for the novel coronavirus is recovering well at home after being briefly hospitalized, the South Central Health District announced Wednesday evening. He’s the first person in the county to test positive for COVID-19.

A man in his 40s from Blaine County presented “very mild symptoms” and is also recovering at home, the health district said.

These are cases four and five in south-central Idaho, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Idaho to 11.

Investigations into both new cases began this afternoon and are in their primary stages.

“Protecting and preserving the health and safety of our residents is at the very core of what we do. We will continue to do everything we can to make sure you have the information and resources you need,” Melody Bowyer, SCPHD Director said. “We are calling on our communities to use that information to help protect their families and prevent the virus from spreading.”

South Central Public Health District’s most recently updated guidelines can be found on our website at phd5.idaho.gov/coronavirus.

To slow the spread of the virus, Gov. Brad Little urges the public to implement, for the next 15 days through March 31, the following initiative:

  • Working or engaging in schooling from home whenever possible.
  • Avoiding social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Avoiding eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts where social distancing is not achievable; instead use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options.
  • Avoiding discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • Canceling visits to nursing homes, retirement, and long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

SCPHD is also issuing an update on the first four cases confirmed in the south central Idaho region.

“We’ve contacted all known close contacts of these individuals. They are self-isolating at home and haven’t shown any symptoms,” said Logan Hudson, SCPHD Public Health Division Administrator. “We will continue to investigate the movements of all confirmed cases to make sure everyone potentially exposed is being monitored.”

All four women in south central Idaho’s first cases are recovering well. Investigation shows transmission for the first three likely came from visitors to the area. The point of transmission for the fourth is still under investigation.

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 are currently running from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Please refer to https://phd5.idaho.gov/coronavirus for the latest local numbers and https://coronavirus.idaho.gov for Idaho-specific information.

Complete coverage: What Idahoans need to know about the coronavirus

Looking for local information on the Coronavirus? We've got you covered.

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TWIN FALLS — Times-News offices in Twin Falls and Burley are closed to the public until further notice in an effort to keep employees and comm…

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O'Dunkens Draught House decided Monday afternoon to shut down the St. Patrick's Day street party Tuesday. "We can make some sacrifices for the good of the community," owner Jennifer Colvin said. 

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The first cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, were confirmed in Idaho in the past two days.

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TWIN FALLS — City officials said no special events the city is involved with have been canceled and City Hall remains open as of Thursday afternoon.

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