The pandemic has disrupted everyone’s life this year, especially during the holiday season. As new restrictions and mandates have changed daily routines, it is important to stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus.
Last week, BYU-Idaho Radio spoke to James Corbett, the community health division director at Eastern Idaho Public Health. He said there are increasing cases of COVID-19 across the district.
“We do the best we can to help slow the pandemic. With pandemics, you cannot openly stop them from continuing. We are trying to continue to help hospitals stay where they can treat not only COVID patients, but patients that may need care from other instances. We want to be sure individuals have the opportunity for the most optimal care possible at our local hospitals,” Corbett said.
He said the trend of increasing cases varies across different counties in Eastern Idaho. He said COVID-19 in Eastern Idaho is being spread mostly through small gatherings with family and friends.
“Those instances where [there are] 5 to 15 individuals, where you sometimes feel comfortable to let down some of those protective or mitigation strategies we recommend,” Corbett said.
Corbett used a lack of social distancing with family, not wearing masks and letting a sick or potentially COVID-19 exposed family member into the home, as examples of how families and friends are spreading the virus.
Those type of family gatherings are happening more because of the holiday season. Corbett recommended finding creative solutions to family gatherings through Zoom or following safe social distancing measures.
“We need to stay vigilant on doing those appropriate measures… staying home when you’re sick, you know, good hand and cleanliness habits, physical distancing as much as possible and wearing a mask in those short periods where we can’t physical distance,” Corbett said.
More information about the current status of COVID-19 in eastern Idaho is available online at eiph.idaho.gov.