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Rising coronavirus cases spark more action from Eastern Idaho Public Health

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Board members outlined a proposed program for the region during an online meeting on Tuesday night. They voted the "EIPH COVID-19 Regional Response Plan" into effect.

The plan is broken down into stages, creating risk levels for the district: Minimal, Moderate, High and Critical.

Each risk level has a limit for amounts of cases and hospitalizations in counties.

If the rate passes the limit. The district can move that county into the next risk level. The mask mandate question is answered by this new plan.
If a county reaches stage two, moderate risk, then mandatory face coverings may be ordered.

For that to happen, active cases need to reach 10 for every 10,000 people and last for at least three days.

Bonneville County would have to reach 120 active cases. As of July 15, the EIPH reports only 54 cases. But Teton County is reporting a rate of 12 active cases per 10K. The district plans to discuss possibly moving the community into the Moderate Level on Thursday. Victor and Driggs already have mask orders.

Another way to reach moderate risk is for hospital ICU beds to reach 90% capacity two to three times in a week. Right now, all of Eastern Idaho is in the minimal risk level. Still, the plan doesn't include any mandates by the health board or local government.

So, should a region hit a certain risk level, it would take a public meeting by the board to vote on a specific order. That order could also be customized to each particular area. For now, masks are not being required. But health officials do "strongly" suggest we wear them.

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