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Panhandle Health District (PHD) and Boundary County Emergency Management have confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Boundary County.

The individual, a female in her 20s and a resident of Boundary County, contracted the virus while traveling. She was tested while traveling out of the state of Idaho and she remains out of state.

She was not infectious while in Boundary County.

This is the first case of a Boundary County resident and one of 215 in the five northern counties of the Panhandle. Idaho is currently reporting 4,645 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases across the state.

Boundary County and PHD have been coordinating with local healthcare facilities and emergency response agencies since March to assist with planning and preparedness for the eventual spread of COVID-19 into the county.

"We hope this was an isolated incident and we do not continue to see cases in Boundary County, but we need everyone to continue to practice precautions," a Panhandle Health spokesman said.

The precautions for avoiding COVID-19 are the same as those for avoiding the flu and common cold. Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections.

Idaho has seen a steadily increasing trend in new cases since early June and yesterday had the largest single-day total for new confirmed cases (215 with another 20 probable).

It is important for everyone to continue social distancing measures, such as avoiding large social gatherings, keeping a six-foot distance between people whenever possible, and wearing a cloth face covering when in public. These measures can help slow the spread of the virus in our community.

If you currently have or develop general flu-like symptoms that include cough, fever over 100.4 degrees, or difficulty breathing: stay at home. Call your medical provider if your symptoms get worse and you need medical care, or if you want to find out if you should be tested for COVID-19.

If community members have these symptoms or have been exposed to a confirmed case, 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.

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