The Panhandle Health District reported that Benewah County is in the moderate risk factor for the spread of COVID-19 as of October 8.

The Public Information Officer with Panhandle Health, Katherine Hoyer, said that the county has remained in the orange risk category while other counties return to yellow because the number of cases over a seven day interval has remained steady.

“Why Benewah County has remained in orange is because of that seven day rolling tally where there has been consistent cases reported daily,” Ms. Hoyer said. “That has put the county in orange with its positive rate.”

Ms. Hoyer said that the Panhandle Health District tracks which county residents are from when they test positive. Ms. Hoyer said that a patient who tests positive at a medical facility in another county will have their case counted towards their county of residence’s total coronavirus case count.

Though local medical facilities may be reporting low positive test results, those who go to out of county facilities, such as Kootenai Health, will still affect the case total in Benewah County.

“Someone could test positive in New York and be from Benewah County and we would still attribute their case to that county,” Ms. Hoyer said.

Benewah Community Hospital has reported that they have not seen a positive case in six days as of October 13. BCH Executive Assistant, Becca Plante, said that the local hospital has only seen a small increase in positive cases in the school district over the last few weeks.

“We did see a small increase in positive cases within the school district,” Ms. Plante said. “But it seems that appropriate measures were taken to minimize the spread as the positive number of cases was minimal.”

Ms. Plante said that so far staff has been able to keep up with demand and that the hospital has re-opened its walk- in clinic.

“Staff is doing great and we continue to be here for the community’s healthcare needs,” Ms. Plante said. “We have re-opened our walk-in clinic to be more available to the community. Patients and staff are still required to wear masks within the facility and visitors are not allowed to accompany patients.”

Benewah County currently had 20 active cases of COVID-19 as of October 13, according to Panhandle Health. As of October 13, there has been an accumulative total of 162 cases in Benewah County since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Gazette Record attempted to reach out to Marimn Health in Plummer to find out about their daily case count but officials with the medical facility did not respond in time for publication.

For more information contact Panhandle Health at 208-245-4556, BCH at 208-245-5551 or Marimn Health at 208-686-1931.

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