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Individuals who are 16 years of age and older are now eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine through enrolled providers within Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Butte, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power Counties. Appointments for this priority group are being released beginning March 31, at 9 a.m. All previous phases are still eligible and encouraged to schedule an appointment if they have not already.

In the last week, 28 cases, or an average of four cases a day, have been reported. Fourteen of them were confirmed as COVID-19.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare agreed that different health districts within Idaho may choose to move through the various Group 3 Subgroups at different rates. “After conversations with other enrolled providers, and assessing our current situation, we have made the decision to move forward in the phases,” said Maggie Mann, Southeastern Idaho Public Health Director. “We have the supply and available appointments, but have continued to see a decline in demand. At the end of the day, we just want to get people vaccinated who are choosing to receive a vaccine.”

On-line appointments for Southeastern Idaho Public Health can be made at https://www.siphidaho.org/coronavirus.php or by calling the COVID Hotline at 208.234.5875. Locally, appointments can be made at Preston Drug, Health West Clinic and Franklin County Medical Center.

SIPH also announced on March 31, the presence of the United Kingdom (UK) Coronavirus variant (B.1.1.7) in its jurisdiction. This variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is the virus that causes COVID-19. This variant has been identified previously in other areas of the state.

“This vaccine provides hope, but we are not in the clear yet,” said Mann.

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