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Coronavirus Coverage

New health guidance issued for Idaho venues

Coronavirus concerns
While there are still no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Idaho, people are concerned about the spread.

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the seven local Public Health Districts have released updated guidance for event and venue managers.

First, the agencies said they would support any decisions made to postpone or cancel mass gatherings and public events, whether they be for business, social, academic or recreational activities.

Events should be canceled if they draw audiences from communities, states, or countries with confirmed community spread of COVID-19, if the event consists of 50 or more people, and the primary audience includes high-risk populations. Those include adults over 60 and people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes.

Health experts recommend virtual gatherings instead.

The state is also encouraging facilities that house large numbers of people, like long-term care facilities, jails, shelters, etc. implement policies to minimize risk. Those include limiting visitors, providing proper hand washing and hygiene facilities, and enhanced screening for staff and visitors with symptoms of COVID-19.

And, the health department said, "There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. We all must takes steps now to protect ourselves and others, including washing hands often, practicing social distancing–-keeping 6 feet between you and others, staying home if you are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, wearing a facemask only if you are sick, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces with bleach wipes or a sanitizing spray."

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