Have a safe Fourth of July weekend: A message from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

This upcoming holiday weekend is a test for all of us. Can we enjoy our beautiful state, spend time with family, take a vacation, and still keep ourselves and communities safe from the spread of COVID-19?

The answer is: We can. I hope you will remember to do your part this weekend to keep Idaho open and protect our vulnerable loved ones. It’s a personal choice, but I hope you take that choice seriously. Because COVID-19 is no joke.

We need to slow the spread

We know that the majority of new cases are in Ada County and, in particular, there is a surge in new cases among young adults. Central Health District made the tough but appropriate and critical decision to move Ada County back to Stage 3 through a new Order.

Because of the continued increase in cases among young adults in many counties across the state, it is more important than ever to encourage young adults to take recommended precautions to protect those who are vulnerable in our state. We need to protect our parents and grandparents. We need to protect those with immunosuppressed systems. We need to show our families, friends, and communities that we understand we are all in this together, and we will do whatever we can to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Young adults may show very few symptoms and may even be asymptomatic, but they can spread the virus to others who may be more vulnerable. Let’s work together to keep our families safe. It really does take all of us.

Remember to:

  • Keep at least six feet between you and others in public
  • Wear face coverings in public places (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus, and do not know it, from transmitting it to others)
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Disinfect surfaces and objects regularly

Wishing you a safe Fourth of July weekend

As we all look forward to celebrating America’s independence this Fourth of July weekend, take some time to review the information below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if you are traveling this holiday weekend away from your community or Idaho:  

  • Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going? Please take the appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of you getting infected.
  • Is COVID-19 spreading in your community? If you have COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms, you can spread COVID-19 to others. Please follow the recommendations above to protect others.
  • Are you or those you are traveling with more likely to get very ill from COVID-19? If you get infected while you are traveling, you can spread COVID-19 to loved ones when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms. Take appropriate precautions when you return home.
  • Do not travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

A thank you to public health employees

While many of us will be celebrating or relaxing this weekend, many public health employees will still be working. There is an unrelenting demand for data, information, and reassurance that can not be accomplished in a 40-hour work week. Many public health employees haven’t had a day off in months, and they are working holidays and weekends. They are public servants in the truest sense, dedicating their lives to doing their best to keep the public safe from COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.

The public health employees in Idaho are working under difficult circumstances, but they are always committed to your well-being. I appreciate their hard work and their dedication to the people of Idaho. Their invaluable contributions to society have never been more evident. I want to thank them for working to keep my family, and yours, safe every day of the year, even holiday weekends.

Have a safe and healthy Fourth of July weekend.

2 thoughts on “Have a safe Fourth of July weekend: A message from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

  1. David P Bingham

    Why can’t I find any data about the number of people in the state (who have tested positive with COVID-19) that have been hospitalized? Also, how about data reflecting those that have tested positive, but have felt little to no symptoms? We are told that there is a tracking system in place, to follow those who have been infected. That being the case, there could easily be followup calls, two weeks after the test, to ask these people about any symptoms they may be, or have been experiencing.

    Why does the John’s Hopkins University Heat Map report more cases (at times, by a significant percentage) than what’s being reported on the state’s website?

    The data reported is very lacking in trying to see any meaningful and actual trends. It’s very poor compared to other states!

    1. idhwmedia

      COVID-19 data on the dashboard at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ is changing frequently in an effort to provide more information as sufficient data are received to display while protecting the privacy of Idahoans. The data team are working very hard to provide a robust data presentation that helps Idahoans make decisions so they can stay safe and healthy. The team just added two new graphs last week that will give you better picture of hospital use in the state, and the numbers of people with more severe illness.

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