Stay vigilant when it comes to COVID-19: A reminder from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

As it is for all Idahoans, it’s distressing for us at the Department of Health and Welfare to see COVID-19 case counts rising again. Without a vaccine or a proven therapeutic treatment, the answer to slow the spread of this virus is simple, and I can’t say it enough: Wear a mask, wash your hands often, keep six feet of physical distance between yourself and others, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you are sick.

I understand we are all tired of this virus, and anxious to return to a sense of normalcy. I want that, too, but even more importantly, I want the people of Idaho to be safe from this virus. Please don’t let your guard down. Please heed the science, stay vigilant, and follow those guidelines. 

The stress and trauma of COVID-19

According to a JAMA Network study, the number of adults experiencing depression has tripled in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic. There is no question: COVID-19 is a traumatic event for healthcare, public health, and frontline workers, parents and children, our economy, our communities, and our health and safety. And, sadly, there have been more than 200,000 lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States.

The struggle with COVID-19 is what we all have in common. We all are experiencing it, even if in different ways. As the crisis continues, so does our collective frustration. You do not have to experience this alone. DHW is here for you.

DHW offers support to all Idahoans who are challenged by the stress of COVID-19. In partnership with the Office of Emergency Management, we have a COVID HELP NOW line:

  • 1-986-867-1073 (call or text)
  • 1-866-947-5186 (toll free)

Give us a call, and we will:

  • Help you reduce your stress and provide emotional support
  • Help with any immediate crisis needs and connect you to other resources
  • Help you identify coping strategies, and more

(No records are kept so you can call anonymously, And, you can call seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

Resources for frontline workers

DHW recognizes that the stress of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak puts medical professionals, first responders, and other frontline workers at an increased risk for experiencing extra stress and trauma. The stress of the pandemic and your commitment to supporting the people of Idaho may affect your mental health and your relationships.

Support is available to you through the Coronavirus Counseling Assistance for Frontline Workers program. If you are a frontline worker (meaning you work with the public) and are feeling overwhelmed from COVID-19, call us at (toll free) 1-866-536-0239.

I wish you all a relaxing and safe weekend. #MaskUpIdaho #GetAFluShot

3 thoughts on “Stay vigilant when it comes to COVID-19: A reminder from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

  1. idhwmedia

    Blog is posted on FB, Twitter, IG (!), and Linked In.

    Niki Forbing-Orr
    Public Information Manager
    Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
    Media line: 208-334-0668
    Desk: 208-334-0618
    Cell: 208-514-5848
    http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov

    [Click to go to the IDHW Facebook page.] [Click to go to the IDHW Twitter feed.] [Click to go to the IDHW blog site.]

  2. Kelly Williams

    Will there be more than a one-time food stamp allotment for parents who opted to have their children participate in on-line classes as opposed to sending them back to a physical school? Every health & welfare phone number I have called has resulted in either no answer at all, or an out of office message
    (during business hours). Please, enough of the dead-end runaround trying to find an answer to this very simple question. Thank you.

    1. idhwmedia

      Apologies for the confusion. This is a decision that is made through Department of Education rather than Department of Health and Welfare. Although DHW issued the cards, the Dept of Ed runs the school lunch program and they determine what options will be pursued.

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