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First case of COVID-19 in Benewah County announced

| May 23, 2020 1:31 PM

The Panhandle Health District (PHD) confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a female under the age of 18 in Benewah County, announced on Saturday.

The individual has been contacted and advised to self-isolate. The Panhandle area has a total of 71 COVID-19 cases. There are 66 in Kootenai County, 4 in Bonner County, and 1 in Benewah County. PHD epidemiologists will conduct contact tracing and close contacts will be contacted if they are potentially at risk. Additional case-specific information about this individual is confidential and will not be released.

“Our call center is available Monday through Friday to take questions or concerns for our community,” said Lora Whalen, PHD Director. “We continue to urge everyone to continue practicing the staged guidelines in Governor Littles reopening plan.” PHD will continue to monitor the situation closely and are working with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, city leaders, schools, emergency management, healthcare providers, and our community at large to help prevent the further spread of this virus.”

The Panhandle area covers the 5 northern counties, Kootenai, Bonner, Benewah, Boundary, and Shoshone.

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported — ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

If community members have these symptoms and they become severe, they should call PHD’s call center at 1-877-415-5225 or their provider.

Panhandle Health will provide an over-the-phone assessment to determine if someone should be tested. Please call, do not come into PHD or your provider’s office.