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UPDATE: 2nd south-central Idaho coronavirus case confirmed; Idaho now has 5 cases
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UPDATE: 2nd south-central Idaho coronavirus case confirmed; Idaho now has 5 cases

From the Complete coverage: What Idahoans need to know about the coronavirus series
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TWIN FALLS — The South Central Public Health District confirmed two coronavirus cases in its area Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the state to five.

The first case in the region involves a woman from Blaine County over the age of 50 who is recovering from mild symptoms that did not require hospitalization, health district director Melody Bowyer said.

It was not known where the patient contracted the virus. Although she recently traveled to a neighboring state, the state did not have confirmed cases while she was there. Officials said they would not identify which state she traveled to.

The woman is self isolated at home, the department said.

The second case in the area is a female patient over the age of 70, the district said. She is hospitalized and recovering.

South Central Public Health District includes Twin Falls, Cassia, Jerome Minidoka, Gooding, Lincoln, Camas and Blaine counties in Idaho. The district did not say where the woman is from or what hospital she is in.

Where she contracted the disease is still under investigation, the district said.

The first Idaho case of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, was confirmed Friday. That case involves a woman in her 50s in Ada County.

Ada County had a second case confirmed Saturday, a man in his 50s with no identified underlying medical issues. He is recovering well in his home under isolation and was not hospitalized, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said. The man likely got the illness while traveling.

The fifth case in the state is a woman under the age of 60 in Teton County. She contracted COVID-19 from contact with a confirmed case in a neighboring state, the department said. She is home recovering from mild symptoms and did not require hospitalization.

After the Blaine County announcement, Blaine County School District Board Chairman Keith Roark and Superintendent GwenGarol Holmes said that all schools and facilities are closed to the public beginning Monday. The closures will last through April 5.

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“We are working in coordination with (South Central Public Health District) and decided in an abundance of caution to close schools,” Roark said in a statement. “We realize this will cause hardship for many of our families in regards to childcare and daily nutrition. We hope to announce plans for providing nutrition services soon.”

As of Saturday afternoon, 163 people have been tested through the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories, and 13 people have been tested in Idaho through private labs. There are only two lab-confirmed cases in Idaho. For up to date information on testing and COVID-19 in Idaho, go to coronavirus.idaho.gov.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare confirmed the state’s first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee confirmed in a letter to the ISU community that the individual is a student attending the ISU-Meridian campus.

That case involves a woman in her 50s in Ada County, said Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator of public health for the Department of Health and Welfare. The woman has experienced mild to moderate symptoms that didn’t require hospitalization, and she’s recovering well, Shaw-Tulloch said.

The woman had returned from a conference in New York City, Shaw-Tulloch said. Three other attendees at that conference have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Out of an abundance of caution, our university took action Friday morning to close our Meridian campus for cleaning. The closure and cleaning decision was made before we had confirmation of the COVID-19 case,” Satterlee said in a letter.

Satterlee explained that all potentially impacted individuals who had contact with the student have already been notified and are being monitored.

“If you are not contacted by Central District Health or our University Health Center, then there is no reason for you to have elevated concern,” Satterlee said. “CDH has advised us that this is not an illness that is spread through brief, casual contact.”

Boise State University will move instruction for more than 30,000 students online to combat the spread of the coronavirus and the rest of Idaho’s public higher education institutions will follow suit by April 1.

The state Board of Education voted unanimously to support presidents’ efforts to shift coursework online amid the growing pandemic.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover within a few weeks.

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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Events include the Falls2Falls Run/Walk on April 18, Spirit of Magic Valley half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids run on May 9, and Cycle Magic Valley on May 16.

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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.

The Idaho Statesman and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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