Health officials to public: Remain vigilant | Northwest

Even with the rapidly declining daily numbers of COVID-19 infections in the area, public health officials are cautioning people to remain vigilant to the illness and to continue to protect themselves and other as much as possible.

Public Health – Idaho North Central District reported 23 new infections Friday, down from 359 a month ago on Jan. 21.

The health district “acknowledges the downturn in the number of COVID cases being reported in the region,” said Tara Macke, spokeswoman for the health department, “and attributes the decrease to the passing of the omicron spike that was experienced across the nation during the last few months.”

Macke said it appears the spike from the omicron variant has run its course and is subsiding.

Even so, the public should remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and another surge may loom in the future.

The health department still promotes the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including encouraging people to avoid large gatherings and protecting themselves by being up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. People with COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to stay home and seek care with a medical practitioner as needed.

“It is the hope of everyone that this decrease in cases will continue and will bring the end of the pandemic,” Macke said. “However, it is too soon to assume that outcome.”

Public Health – Idaho North Central District cases Friday included one in Lewis County; one in Clearwater County; eight in Latah County and 13 in Nez Perce County. Asotin, Whitman and Garfield counties did not update their information Friday.

Long-term care facilities in the area showed little increase in COVID-19 infections from one week ago. Royal Plaza Health and Rehabilitation in Lewiston; Brookside Landing in Orofino; Life Care Center of Lewiston; Grangeville Health and Rehabilitation; Milestones in Moscow; and Good Samaritan Society in Moscow each reported one new case since Feb. 11. Lewiston Transitional Care of Cascadia reported 13 new cases; Prestige Care in the Orchards in Lewiston had nine new cases; and Wedgewood Terrace in Lewiston reported two new cases.

The weekly totals for the five north central Idaho counties and three southeastern Washington counties include:

  • Week ending Jan. 7 — 682 cases, 6 deaths.
  • Week ending Jan. 14 — 1,475 cases, 1 death.
  • Week ending Jan. 21 — 2,170 cases, 6 deaths.
  • Week ending Jan. 28 — 2,433 cases, 2 deaths.
  • Week ending Feb. 4 — 1,418 cases, 14 deaths.
  • Week ending Feb. 11 — 768 cases, 3 deaths.
  • Week ending Feb. 17 — 415 cases, 3 deaths.

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