corona_virus

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

The Panhandle area includes the five northern counties; Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah, Bonner, and Boundary.

Case 9 is a man in his 40s from Kootenai County. He is self-isolating at home. Contact tracing is ongoing.

Eight out of the nine cases that have been confirmed in the Panhandle appear to be travel related, meaning the individuals most likely contracted the virus while traveling outside of our area. One of our cases appears to be community transmission as we can find no link to travel or contact with a confirmed case. Community transmission is defined as illness within a community that lacks connection to travel or other confirmed cases.

PHD will plan to make a daily announcement if there are confirmed cases within the Panhandle at noon Monday – Friday.

In the United States, there have been 54,453 cases and 737 deaths as of March 25, 2020.

In Montana, 53 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed; with four in Flathead County and six in Missoula County.

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 or their provider. 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.

CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease.

Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel. Check the CDC’s guidance on things to consider prior to travel.

For additional travel guidance and advisories, click here.

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