An increase of COVID 19 cases in the Idaho Panhandle has led to area senior citizens being strongly encouraged to social distancing, wearing a face mask, sanitizing all areas touched and practicing vigorous personal hygiene/hand washing.

Panhandle Health has not updated its COVID-19 stats for today, but personnel are in contact with state officials, and Idaho Governor Brad Little is holding a press conference at noon MST today, and adjustments to Stage 4 Rebound Idaho protocols are expected.

In Wednesday's update, Panhandle Health reported 23 new North Idaho COVID-19 cases, bringing the count to 152 in Kootenai County, 18 in Bonner County 13 in Benewah and nine cases in which home county have not been determined.

One Kootenai County resident died, one North Idaho resident is in the hospital and 114 have recovered.

Boundary Community Hospital has administered 192 COVID-19 tests, all of them negative. PCR and Antigen Testing Equipment with redundancy have been calibrated and certified, therefore, all COVID-19 testing is now done in the BCH Lab.

All tests require provider/physician orders.

Idaho had 223 new confirmed cases Wednesday, bringing the count to 4,645, with 90 cases fatal. It topped by one the record set for most cases in a day set April 2, when 222 cases were confirmed.

In Montana, 37 new confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. MST today brings the total case count to 803, with 21 Montanans dead. It was the worst day for new cases since the pandemic began.

No new COVID-19 cases in the Interior Health Region of British Columbia, with 199 cases and two deaths, province wide, 14 new cases June 24 brings the total to 2,849 with 171 deaths and 2,516 recoveries.

Across the U.S., 34,313 new cases were confirmed Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As of 9:54 a.m. today, Johns Hopkins reports 2,395,759 Americans having COVID-19, with 122,071 not surviving the illness.

On June 24, Canada saw 279 new cases and today Johns Hopkins reports 104,087 total Canadian cases, 8,544 fatal.

Worldwide, 9,491,799 people have been stricken and 484,092 have died. Besides the United States, only Brazil has more than a million cases with 1,188,631.

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