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Blaine County confirms first case of coronavirus, second in Idaho

Officials in Blaine County confirmed the state of Idaho's second case of COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon.

HAILEY, Idaho — Blaine County officials announced the second confirmed case of coronavirus in Idaho on Saturday afternoon during a press conference in Hailey, Idaho.

According to South Central Public Health District Director Melody Bowyer, the patient was a woman in her 50s and only had mild symptoms. 

"Preparing for public health emergencies and conducting disease outbreak investigations are public health functions," Bowyer said. "This is what we prepare, train, and do every day since the worldwide spread of coronavirus."

Bowyer said the South Central Public Health District has been working with regional counties to plan for cases of the coronavirus.

"The steps taken within Idaho and Blaine County should assure us that common sense and proper protocols are present in the interest of public health and safety," Hailey Mayor Martha Burke said in a statement. "These actions should not create panic and alarm at this time.”

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"We have been preparing for cases in Idaho as the governor mentioned in his press conference yesterday," she said. "Our goal is to slow down the spread of coronavirus in our communities."

Bowyer said the woman was not hospitalized and is recovering at home now.

"We are working as fast as humanly possible to conduct our investigation because this is at the very beginning of our investigation, we have very limited information and we ask for your understanding," she said.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the patient she self-isolated as soon as she started experiencing symptoms and her doctor was ready with protective gear when evaluating her.

Officials did not state if this is a case of community spread or if she recently traveled to an area with a high number of infections.

“I want to reassure our community that the precautionary steps being taken by the City of Hailey, Blaine County School District and local governments should not increase alarm," Burke said.

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

RELATED: City of Boise making changes to library, Senior Center to protect vulnerable populations

Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context

The majority of people who have coronavirus will get better without any long-term effects, according to an Oregon doctor. About 82% of cases tend to be mild. In these cases, symptoms diminish over five to seven days, although people are still capable of transmitting the disease. But there are many people with a higher risk of having a more severe disease if they are diagnosed with coronavirus, including those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other vascular disease problems.

Also, most children who get it have mild symptoms.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began late last year, there have been around 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China. That means those cases account for just around .0056% of China's population.”

Credit: Tegna

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