Public Health – Idaho North Central District reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

One new case each in Nez Perce and Latah counties were announced Wednesday afternoon. The new cases bring the total number of cases in Idaho’s North Central District to 24, and two people have died from COVID-19.

The North Central District covers Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties. Nez Perce County has 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including the two deaths. Latah and Idaho counties each have three confirmed cases.

There are 12 males and 12 females confirmed to have been infected by the new coronavirus in the North Central District. The two deaths have been males older than the age of 50, according to the district.

Nine people between the ages of 18-49 have confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 15 confirmed cases of the disease in patients 50 years or older.

There were no new cases of the disease in Asotin, Garfield or Whitman counties in Washington, according to health officials in that state.

There were no new cases reported in Idaho County on Wednesday. Clearwater and Lewis counties have no confirmed cases of COVID-19, North Central District health officials said.

Nimiipuu Health also does not have any confirmed cases of the viral disease, Nez Perce Tribe spokeswoman Kayeloni Scott said.

Statewide, Idaho reported 22 new confirmed cases and three more deaths Wednesday, bringing the state’s totals to 1,232 cases and 18 deaths. Washington reported 415 new cases and 27 more deaths, bringing Washington’s total confirmed cases to 9,097 and 421 deaths.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported 20,682 new cases and 690 more deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 395,011 and the number of deaths to 12,754.

“The CDC recommends wearing homemade masks in public where social distancing is impractical,” Whitman County Director of Public Health Troy Henderson said. “The best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is to social distance at all times, remaining 6 feet away from people as often as possible.”

Hospitals announce policy adjustments

Area hospitals and clinics are continuing to make changes because of concerns over the possible spread of coronavirus.

Tri-State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston is no longer allowing visitors to its campus in most cases. The hospital is making exceptions in pediatric and end-of-life care situations, Tri-State Memorial Hospital Communications Director Rebecca Mann said.

The zero-visitor protocol went into place Monday, Mann said. The change is to help ensure the safety of patients, medical providers, employees and the community, Mann said.

Changes implemented at the hospital in response to the pandemic include:

Entrance to the building is through a white tent on the south end of the hospital where all patients are screened for fever, respiratory symptoms and travel history before entrance is allowed.

Hospital entries are restricted and staffed full time.

Upon entry, visitors are screened and asked about the reason for the visit. Those presenting symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or who have traveled internationally within the last 14 days or who have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter the facility.

1221 Campus Cafe is closed to the public

Tri-State Minor Care Center is now an acute respiratory clinic and only patients with upper respiratory illnesses will be seen there. Other non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses are directed to the appropriate Tri-State Family Practice Clinic.

Tri-State COVID-19 Hotline has been established at (509) 769-2215 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During high call volumes, callers are asked to leave a message and the call will be returned.

Syringa Hospital and Clinics in Grangeville are offering walk-in hours at its Syringa Temporary Urgent Care Clinic and Primary Care Clinic, Public Information Director Katy Eimers said.

The temporary clinic will see walk-in patients from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with or without an appointment. Hours at the primary care clinic for walk-in appointments are 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. for non-respiratory, flu or other contagious type illnesses. After 9 a.m. patient visits in the primary clinic are by appointment only, Eimers said.

“Any patient with potentially contagious illness who comes to the Primary Care Clinic will be redirected to the Urgent Care across the street next to Syringa Therapy Services,” Eimers said. “All patients at both clinics will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms as a precaution.”

Gritman clinics are seeing patients in-person and through telemedicine. Appointments may be scheduled at the Gritman Internal Medicine Clinic by calling (208) 883-1152, Kendrick Family Care Clinic at (208) 289-3841, Potlatch Family Care at (208) 875-2380 and at Troy Clinic at (208) 835-5550.

Snake River Family Festival canceled

The Port of Whitman County announced Wednesday it is canceling its 2020 Snake River Family Festival originally scheduled for May 30.

The port explored postponing the event until August, but decided that harvest and back-to-school time would preclude too many people from participating in the event, Port of Whitman County Executive Director Joe Poire said.

The port expects the festival that draws about 500 people to Boyer Park & Marina each year to return next year.

Wells may be contacted at mwells@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2275.

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