COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise in Benewah County according to reports from local health officials.

The Panhandle Health District reports that the COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in the last week.

PHD Public Information Officer Katherine Hoyer said the cause of the rise in cases could be due to the Delta Variant being highly contagious.

“The Delta Variant is certainly a contributing factor since we know that it is highly contagious and infects over twice as many people as the original COVID-19 strain did,” Hoyer said. “Meaning, if you had the original COVID-19 strain on average you would have infected two others. With the Delta strain, for every one person infected they are infecting five others.”

“Then you figure those five people infect five more people you can see how easily this has exploded,” she added. “On top of that with our low vaccination rate, it leaves many more people vulnerable to contract the virus.”

At the time of this report, according to the PHD’s website, it reported 46 new COVID-19 cases in the week of September 5 – 11, which shows a significant jump from the 13 new cases recorded in the week of August 29 – September 4.

According to the PHD’s website, there have been a total of 938 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county since the start of the pandemic with 726 cases confirmed and 212 listed as probable. The website reported there have been 11 COVID-19 related deaths since the first recorded death in August, 2020.

Hoyer reported that the Benewah County is among the counties with the highest positivity rates in Idaho.

“In all five counties in the district, cases have been on the rise. The positivity rate for our district is the highest in the state of Idaho,” Hoyer said.

The rise in cases has also taken a toll on local events as well. This last weekend the annual SPAN ‘Be the Light’ walk was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. The Fernwood Fire Department’s Spaghetti fundraiser, slated for September 18, has also been canceled due to concerns in the community.

At the time of this report the Benewah Community Hospital reported that as of September 12, there has been 572 positive COVID-19 cases in the community and surrounding areas since the start of the pandemic.

Both BCH and PHD continue to offer vaccines to the public for free. PHD offers the vaccine at it St. Maries Office location and it will also have mobile vaccine clinics offered later in September at Heyburn Elementary.

Jack’s Pharmacy also offers vaccines as well.

For more information contact the St. Maries PHD office at 208-245-4556, BCH at 208-245-5551 or Jack’s Pharmacy at 208-245-4578.

(1) comment

Gwen M.

How many are hospitalized?

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