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South Central Public Health District opens coronavirus hotline
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South Central Public Health District opens coronavirus hotline

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 — The South Central Public Health District has opened an information hotline for people to call with concerns about COVID-19.

No one in Idaho has tested positive for COVID-19, the diseased caused by the new coronavirus spreading across other parts of the world, the health district said in a Friday morning statement. At this time, the South Central Public Health District is not monitoring anyone for the disease.

“This hotline is open to health care professionals, community leaders and residents who have questions about COVID-19,” health district director Melody Bowyer said in the statement. “There is no reason to panic over this virus. We are well equipped to investigate and respond to any cases in our region. In the meantime, we want to make sure the public has plenty of access to accurate and factual information so they can take steps to protect their family from getting sick.”

The hotline, 208-737-1138, activated at 8 a.m. Friday and will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The health district is also posting information about the disease on its website, phd5.idaho.gov/coronavirus, and on Facebook and Twitter.

State officials are also posting updates at coronavirus.idaho.gov.

“We understand that correct information is crucial when protecting your family,” said Logan Hudson, the health district’s Family and Children’s Health Division administrator. “For now, the best thing you can do is to follow the same precautions we recommend every winter during cold and flu season.”

Those precautions include:

  • Check for recommendations from public health and watch for updates.
  • Wash your hands well and often.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow instead of your hand
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Individuals, families, businesses, schools and communities should also review their plans in the event of an emergency, including a widespread disease outbreak. The health district is in the process of releasing specific guidance for each group, which will be posted on the website.

Anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 should call their health care provider and ask for guidance, the district said. They should only visit a hospital emergency room if they are experiencing a health emergency.

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