For Immediate Release
September 10th, 2021
PR 9.10.2021 Mask Update | Printable
While local COVID-19 infections continue to increase and strain our local health system, City of McCall urges education and makes facility changes to protect service capability.
In last night's meeting of McCall City Council, local St. Luke's Hospital representatives presented updated statistics and stressed a renewed warning to our community. Chief Operating and Nursing Officer Amber Green and Dr. Paddy O. Kinney shared information that showed an increase of infections expected to continue in the coming months.
So far, eight days into September, 365 tests have been performed, and 65 were positive in the local St. Luke's facility. "Of the 65 that tested positive, 34 were actual McCall Residents. The majority of the positives are coming from our age group 0 to 17," reported Amber Green. System-wide, Green noted that 71% of critical care patients are COVID related, and 98% of those COVID Patients are unvaccinated. Green also explained that they expect to see a peak in cases in early to mid-October, according to the projection data.
Dr. Paddy Kinney told a sad story of what providers see on the front lines. "It's been a trying time for everybody," Kinney shared. He expressed concern that they are witnessing patient deaths and children on ventilators. In addition, he reported to Council that 92-93% of patients admitted to the hospital are not vaccinated, and 98% of those intubated are not vaccinated. St. Lukes McCall stresses the importance of vaccination to help protect against the virus and reduce stress on the health care system to provide the best care.
Chief of Police Justin Williams informed Council that beginning Monday, September 13th, all city-run facilities would require masks. City staff provides and encourages by-appointment and virtual communication for services to further protect those who cannot mask and reduce impacts to staff,. Anette Spickard, City Manager, added, "we have a fairly small staff, and we need to protect our ability to serve the public." City Council stated that we should continue to educate the public and protect our staff.
Central District Health (CDH) supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance shared today (July 27, 2021) regarding wearing a mask when in an indoor public space where there are substantial or high levels of community transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
Universal indoor masking is recommended for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccine status or community transmission. Further, CDH encourages people to follow any policies or requirements set by their workplace or any place of business they visit.
Under the updated guidance, all four of the counties served by CDH currently fall under substantial or high transmission, therefore, CDH recommends that individuals in these communities wear a mask in indoor public settings, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccine status.
Current levels of transmission in CDH’s jurisdiction:
Wearing a mask, along with physical distancing, and choosing to get vaccinated for COVID-19, continue to be our best defense in this pandemic. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death while helping reduce the spread of the virus in the community. With the Delta variant present in Idaho counties, choosing to get vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and those around you.
As this virus continues to evolve and we are regularly learning more, CDH is committed to protecting the health and safety of the communities it serves by providing relevant guidance that aligns with current conditions. CDH will begin posting weekly community transmission rates using the CDC data and categories, to the following web page and through its social media channels: https://www.cdh.idaho.gov/dac-coronavirus.php.
As a business owner, it is your right to protect your business, facilities, and employee. This health order gives you the ability to enforce openly and clearly supporting your own mask policy. All businesses within McCall city limits are subject to the city's health order. If a patron does not comply with the order you have the right to ask them to leave. If at any point feel that you are unsafe, or threaten or need law enforcement, please call 911.