IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Bonneville, Jefferson, Madison and Teton counties all have COVID-19 cases classified as 'community transmission' according to the director of Eastern Idaho Public Health, Geri Rackow.
"That means when we begin our investigation of the case, we cannot tie it back to travel or contact with a confirmed case, somewhere where the new case could have contracted the illness," Rackow said.
Rackow says the virus is circulating somewhere in the communities, and they have to assume that anyone is susceptible to getting it.
"What I really want to emphasize is, even though we say we only have 24 cases, and I don't want that number to mislead people, because there have been challenges with testing capability, not just in Eastern Idaho, but within the state as well as the nation that have not allowed, everyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 to receive testing," Rackow said.
Community health provision administrator James Corbett says that the state has tests available, just not at the level they would like.
"Each one of our partners would want to have more testing, including ourselves, but right now our number one priority is to keep people healthy, and also to keep people from spreading the disease," Corbett said.
Patients who would be hospitalized and health care workers are on the top of the list to get tested. However, Corbett tells us each clinician is able to test anyone they feel meets the criteria for COVID-19 keeping in mind the short supply.
"We too are frustrated with the situation we find ourselves in right now with not having enough testing to be able to offer to everyone that wants to," Rackow said.
As a precaution to everyone, Eastern Idaho Public Health is promoting a new campaign to stay in your place, maintain your space and cover your face.
For state updates about COVID-19, check out our Coronavirus Coverage page HERE.