PHD updates COVID-19 cases in region

| May 21, 2020 1:00 AM

Still no Boundary County cases reported

BONNERS FERRY — There continue to be no COVID-19 cases confirmed in Boundary County.

There are 70 confirmed cases, with 66 in Kootenai County and four in Bonner County. The novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, also has not emerged in Shoshone or Benewah counties, the health district said.

The virus has caused seven hospitalizations in the Panhandle and the health district said 66 people are no longer being monitored.

The health district cautioned against the public from thinking the pandemic is in the rear-view mirror as Idaho conducts its phased reopening of the economy.

“Essentially, we could be in the eye of the storm,” said Jeff Lee, epidemiologist at the Panhandle Health District. “An epidemiological curve has an upslope, a peak, and then a back slope. That back slope can be just as devastating as the upslope.”

The health district said there remains an abundance of unknowns, including whether people can become infected more than once, if the virus will return and become seasonal like the flu, or if the virus will mutate.

“Every communicable disease virus, COVID-19 included, behaves differently and has certain characteristics,” said Dave Hylsky epidemiologist at PHD.

The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare reported 21 new confirmed or probable cases on Tuesday, pushing the statewide total to 2,476 cases. The death toll increased to 77 on Tuesday.

All told, 38,344 coronavirus tests have been conducted in Idaho, Health & Welfare said. The virus has caused 215 hospitalizations across the state and sickened 297 healthcare workers.

The Northeast Tri-County Health District reported no new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. There are 10 confirmed cases in Stevens County, while Pend Oreille County has one case and Ferry County has one. Both of the Pend Oreille County cases are south of Cusick.

The state of Montana reported one new case on Tuesday. Lincoln County has seven cases and Sanders County has zero cases, according to the state.