POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - You don’t have to look very far on the internet to find a dizzying number of conspiracy theories, misinformation and bogus medical opinions mixed in with the correct facts about the coronavirus.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, misinformation spreads as fast as the virus and is just as dangerous.
Southeastern Idaho District Health Department Director Maggie Mann says it is important to get your information from trustworthy sources.
“We really encourage people to get their information from reliable sources and not rely on things that they see on Facebook or social media, that kind of thing," Mann said. "So we really encourage people to go to our website or other public health district websites or the state of Idaho website or news reports because you all are looking at our web sites, and you’re taking the numbers straight from us and we are a credible source for that information."
On our newscasts, you will see us present three sets of numbers. One is for the state-wide totals that have been recorded for the day.
These numbers reflect all of the cases recorded in the entire state on any given day.
The other numbers are for the two Health Districts in our area.
The Eastern Idaho Public Health Department covers the counties of Bonneville, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison and Teton.
The Southeastern Idaho District Health Department covers the counties of Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Butte, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power.
We list the totals from each district as well as any county numbers that are particularly high that day.
We also list any deaths that occur in our health districts as well as the age and gender of the victim.
Our numbers come directly from the health departments.
Here’s how those numbers are collected at the Southeastern Idaho District Health Department.
“We get test results that are reported to us through laboratories that are doing testing, or through Physicians that are ordering tests, and so every morning we look at the tests that we have received and we go through them and we go through them and we make sure that we don’t have any duplicates. And then we start counting those cases." Mann said. "We are very careful about that, we have absolutely no incentive or reason to overestimate or not be honest about the number of cases that are occurring. If anything, our perspective is that cases are probably undercounted slightly because people choose not to get tested."
Mann says it’s important for us to understand the reality of the COVID-19 numbers in our area, so we can make important decisions about our health
"One reason that it's important to understand the numbers is because as our numbers go up and we see more spread of the virus it becomes even more critical to be putting those precautions in place."
It’s arming yourself with the most accurate information available.
Those numbers are always available on the CDC web sites as well as our Coronavirus Coverage page.