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SOUTHEAST IDAHO – As COVID-19 cases continue in the region, Southeastern Idaho Public Health (SIPH) case investigators are asking residents to self-report symptoms and other illness data through a secure online questionnaire. COVID-19 case investigators will send COVID-19 positive patients a secure text, which will include a link to a questionnaire, which will ask a list of questions regarding their symptoms. This questionnaire will help epidemiologists track the disease and gather COVID-19 data.

“Help us continue to track this disease by reporting your illness via the secure online questionnaire,” said Maggie Mann, SIPH District Director. “It’s also important to let your close contacts know as soon as you get your test results so they can also take precautions.”

The steady stream of cases in our region means, for some, it could be days before we can contact those that are COVID-19 positive by phone. The process of texting the link for the questionnaire to positive cases makes it easier and quicker to gather and communicate information.

SIPH wants to remind residents what steps to take if they test positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with anyone who has COVID-19.

· If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested and stay away from others while you wait for results.

· If you test positive, self-isolate for 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and other symptoms are improving.

· If you test positive, but have no symptoms, self-isolate for 10 days since you had a positive test.

· If you have had close contact to someone who has tested positive with COVID-19, self-isolate and wait 5-7 days before getting tested. If choosing not to test, self-isolate for 10 days since last exposure. If choosing to test, end isolation after day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later).

· Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to stay home.

· Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Or Someone who has COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months and, has recovered and, remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath).

Whether unvaccinated or vaccinated, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask while indoors and in crowded outdoor areas. Along with mask wearing, other simple preventative measures are recommended including frequent hand washing, avoiding large events, and staying home when you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or are sick. SIPH urges the community to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Visit www.siphidaho.org to find a vaccine provider. For more information, call the COVID-19 hotline at 208.234.5875.

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