Panhandle Health District 800-878-2364

Coronavirus

Data will be updated on Thursdays each week.

  • Total Cases: 58,458
  • New Cases Processed This Week : 140
  • Approximate Back-logged Cases: 0
  • Deaths: 961
  • Currently Hospitalized: 4
  • Hospitalizations: 3,375*
  • Closed Cases: 58,178**
Numbers updated 05/19/2022

Data will be updated on Thursdays.

*Hospitalized and Hospitalizations include residents of Health District 1 (Bonner, Boundary, Benewah, Kootenai, and Shoshone counties) that are hospitalized or have been hospitalized anywhere, including out of state. Hospitalizations is a tally of total hospitalizations of confirmed cases. This does not mean these patients are currently hospitalized, only that they were hospitalized for COVID-19 and are also confirmed positive with COVID-19. **Closed cases include those who are No longer monitored, Refused Monitoring, Individuals who we were unable to reach, or are Deceased. Active cases are those who are actively being monitored by the health district in order to monitor their symptoms and advise when they should leave isolation and can be around others. A person is no longer considered an active case 5 days after their confirmed COVID test.

County Risk Levels: Updated at 1:30pm 5/12/22

Kootenai County

Benewah County

Bonner County

Boundary County

Shoshone County

Categories are determined based on the metrics outlined in the PHD COVID-19 Risk Levels by County document linked to the left. These categories are recommendations only and final decisions are made by local school boards. Private and charter schools should use the category based on the address of their facility and associated school district boundary. These are weekly assessments of community spread and will updated on Wednesdays. If category designations are adjusted then schools and families should expect transition time as changes may or may not be immediate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is data available on COVID-19 variant cases?
A:  Yes, the state of Idaho is reporting COVID-19 variant case data on their COVID-19 data dashboard on coronavirus.idaho.gov.

Can I receive a test for a COVID-19 variant?
A.
Currently, testing sites in our area are not sequencing for the variants, but Kootenai Health’s testing site is sending their labs to the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories (IBL) to be sequenced.

Right now there is limited but growing SARS-CoV-2 sequencing capacity within Idaho. IDHW is working to increase the number of Idaho labs that can perform this sequencing.

How can a mask help if viruses are so small?
A. Viruses are very small. However, viruses don’t move on their own, they must be transmitted in some way. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted in droplets that come through the nose and mouth. Using a mask creates a barrier that greatly decreases the potential to transmit droplets that could be carrying virus. If everyone wears a mask, we can keep everyone’s germs (droplets) to themselves.

Just as we all cover our cough or sneeze with our elbow or a tissue to keep droplets with germs and viruses from spreading to others, masks also help keep the droplets with germs and viruses from spreading. Wearing a mask is about protecting others.

Can people get sick from increased carbon dioxide intake while wearing a mask?
A. No. There is enough filtration of air through a mask that wearers do not have increased carbon dioxide intake. Viruses, although very small, are much larger than molecules of oxygen or carbon dioxide which readily pass through masks.

CO2 makes up only about 0.04% of the air we breathe, and is considered life-threatening when its concentration is greater than about 10%.

A cloth mask does not provide an airtight fit across the face. The CO2 completely escapes into the air through and around the sides of the cloth mask when you breathe out or talk. CO2 is small enough to easily pass through any cloth mask material. In contrast, the virus that causes COVID-19 is much larger than CO2, so it cannot pass as easily through a properly designed and properly worn cloth mask.

Q: Can I be re-infected with COVID-19?
A:
In general, reinfection means a person was infected (got sick) once, recovered, and then later became infected again. Based on what we know from similar viruses, some reinfections are expected. CDC is actively working to learn more about reinfection to inform public health action. CDC developed recommendations for public health professionals to help decide when and how to test someone for suspected reinfection. CDC has also provided information for state and local health departments to help investigate suspected cases of reinfection.

Q: How does the virus spread?

A: The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

 

Q: Can the virus be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?

A: Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

 

Q: How easily does the virus spread?

A: How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggest that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.