Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

DARIN OSWALD/Idaho Statesman

Long-term care centers will be able to open their doors to visitors beginning on Saturday, as the state moves into Stage 4 of its reopening plan. 

 


Courtesy of St. Luke's Health System

Idaho’s wishlist for expanding coronavirus testing is long. But since releasing a testing strategy more than a week ago, the state hasn’t provided much clarity on how it will get all the tests it will need.

 

 

 

Courtesy of St. Luke's Health System

Editor's note: This post has been updated with new information following Gov. Little's press conference on the state's testing strategy.

 

In late April, a testing task force formed by Gov. Brad Little met for the first time.

 


COURTESY OF ST. LUKE'S HEALTH SYSTEM

Being able to test everyone who needs it and alert contacts of positive coronavirus cases that they might've been exposed is key, as states begin to open up and people move around more, health officials say.

 

Idaho Department of Health & Welfare

To make policy decisions related to COVID-19, Idaho relies, in part, on mathematical models developed by university professors.


There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or coronavirus in Idaho, but the State Department of Health and Welfare is conducting testing and monitoring people.


Cynthia Goldsmith / AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Starting Wednesday, the United States could lose its measles elimination status. What does that mean for the country and for Idaho?


Flickr Creative Commons, John Tann

West Nile Virus was detected in Canyon County mosquitos this week, for the first time this season.

 


AP Photos / Kantele Franko

Idaho’s Health and Welfare Department says some of their clients’ personal information may have been compromised.

 

 

Niki Forbing-Orr

Governor Little recently signed into law a bill allowing for the establishment of needle exchange programs in Idaho. These programs have demonstrated success in reducing the rate of hepatitis and HIV transmission as well as connecting caregivers with intravenous drug users. Idaho Matters discusses the implementation of such programs with Aimee Shipman, Section Manager for HIV, STD and Hepatitis with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Dr. Zachary Weiss, a resident physician with Family Medicine Residency of Idaho.

As a measles outbreak continues in Washington, Idaho is coping with flu season. The illness shut down entire school districts in the eastern part of the state earlier this month.

National Women's Law Center

Southwest District Health is partnering with Lifeways to open a crisis center in Caldwell. Both organizations provide a variety of healthcare-related services, but this would provide emergency intervention for mental health and substance abuse crises.

 

 

tschoppi / Flickr

Over 35 cases of measles have been confirmed in Washington, and cases are appearing in Oregon too. With the highly contagious virus on the state’s doorstep, Idaho authorities are bracing for it to appear here.


Rita Dixon

Some bats tested positive for rabies last month and for better or worse, this seems to be the only time bats are in the news. Animal resuers are concerned this type of publicity gives bats a bad image. We talk with wildlife and health officials about why we shouldn't fear bats and we meet L'il Wayne, a female silver-haired bat.


Centers For Disease Control And Prevention

In an effort to keep their food local, some city-dwellers have taken to raising chickens in their backyards. As urban farming remains trendy, an unintended consequence of keeping chickens as pets is a rise in salmonella cases. It’s led to an outbreak of the illness that’s impacting Idaho and the nation.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Idahoans are getting sick from eating chopped romaine lettuce. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says E. coli infections are linked to lettuce from Yuma, Arizona.

medical, stethoscope
Jasleen_Kaur / Flickr Creative Commons

A proposal to reduce Idaho's health coverage gap now includes a requirement that "able-bodied" adult Medicaid recipients hold jobs.

AP

Idaho health officials continue to warn of what they call a "severe" year for flu in the Gem State. More influenza-related illnesses and deaths have been reported this season than in any other season in the past seven years.

Kris Rodine

Officials with Idaho's welfare agency say six employees no longer are employed at a treatment center for people with severe disabilities after investigating allegations of staffers physically and psychologically abusing residents.

Idaho Governor's Office

Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced Wednesday he has picked a new head of the state’s Health and Welfare Department.

Otter is appointing Russ Barron to head the agency. Barron is deputy director and a longtime administrator at Health and Welfare.

roberto volterra / Flickr

State auditors say Idaho's child welfare system is overwhelmed, with too few foster parents, too heavy caseloads for social workers and not enough infrastructure to hold it all together.

The study from the Legislature's Office of Performance Evaluations found that the number of foster parents has decreased by 8 percent since 2014, while social workers are dealing with 28 to 38 percent more cases than they can reasonably handle.

U.S. Pacific Fleet

A southern Idaho man is the first person to die in the state from the flu this season.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports the man was over the age of 50 and died from an influenza-related illness. He’s the first person in Idaho to die in the 2016-2017 season.

Last flu season, 26 people died from the flu in Idaho. The average number of deaths in a year in the Gem State is 23. In the 2012-2013 season, 35 people died.

pills, drugs
DestinysAgent / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho health officials plan to ask lawmakers for about $11 million annually to provide mental health and drug abuse services to the state's parole offenders who are at the highest risk of returning to prison.

Tom Shanahan, a spokesman with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, says the state is currently spending around $30,000 annually to serve the estimated 7,300 offenders identified with high mental health needs.

The department will make the request during the 2017 legislative session.

A Nampa nursing home is under fire after a state investigation found residents were being mistreated.

The Idaho Statesman reports that an Idaho Health and Welfare Department report cited Holly Lane Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center for widespread problems that investigators say threatening the health and safety of residents and failed to protect them from abuse and negligence.

Idaho is working to reduce suicides in the state with a new $1 million program.

The Spokesman-Review reports that lawmakers this year allocated ongoing funding and changed the law that governs the mission of the state Department of Health and Welfare to specifically include suicide prevention.

To celebrate the ongoing efforts, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter on Thursday declared this week Suicide Prevention Week in the city.

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