The Panhandle Health District and Kootenai Health have confirmed one additional case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of cases to 28 in the Panhandle area.

The cases are in Kootenai County and the first case was confirmed in Bonner County on Sunday, March 29. Details on new cases will be posted on the PHD website page in real time.

"We have community transmission in Kootenai County," health officials wrote. "Some of the confirmed cases are not connected to travel or contact with a confirmed case. We continue to urge the public to adhere to the stay-home order made by Governor Little. We know practicing social distancing strategies can slow the spread of this virus, but we need everyone to do their part."

In the United States, there have been 122,653 cases and 2,112 deaths as of March 29, 2020 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Epidemiologists with PHD are working to investigate cases of possible contact. All household members of confirmed cases have been asked to self-isolate at home for a prescribed period of time. If other people are found to have been exposed, health officials will provide guidance to these individuals and they will be asked to self-monitor for the development of symptoms.

PHD will continue to monitor the situation closely and are working with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, city and county leaders, schools, emergency management, healthcare providers, and our community at large to help prevent the spread of this virus.

People ill with this coronavirus in other states and countries have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

If community members have these symptoms and they become severe, they should call PHD’s call center at 1-877-415-5225, their provider, or the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-330-3010.

PHD will provide an over-the-phone assessment to determine if someone should be tested. Please call, do not come into PHD or your provider’s office. Tested individuals must stay home until test results are received. If the test is positive, all household members must self-isolate at home for a prescribed period of time.

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