We find ourselves in a challenging time as we all try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community by following the orders of our President and Governor to stay home. The West Central Mountains has finite healthcare resources. It is very likely that anyone who gets sick in our area may need to be transported to another area for treatment. This puts massive strain on our entire healthcare system.
On Mar. 18, 2020, the State of Idaho adopted federal guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. This includes avoiding discretionary travel. During these unprecedented times we seek to find a balance of economic, physical, environmental, and emotional health for all. To act as a cohesive community and to protect each other, we are respectfully asking that no visitation happen at this time.
“We simply don’t have enough stores, healthcare providers, medical tools or first responders to take care of an increase in population right now,” said Mayor Bob Giles, “we need to protect people’s public health and safety as a top priority in our area and for the future.”
The rapidly changing conditions of COVID-19 community spread in Idaho, limited health care services available at St. Luke’s McCall and Cascade Medical, and limited EMS transport services enforce the need to be proactive in encouraging our neighbors in other areas of Idaho and sister states to stay where they are and protect themselves by following CDC guidelines as we are stressing to our residents.
Dr. Greg Irvine, St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center Chief of Staff had this to say, “Ketchum and Blaine County, as of yesterday, have 16 documented cases of COVID-19 infection, 15 of which have come to Blaine County from elsewhere. As a result, they have the first documented case of community spread of the virus in the State of Idaho resulting in an order of community-wide isolation by Governor Little. This explosion of cases in Blaine County is the largest outbreak in the State of Idaho and has happened in a matter of a very few days.
We must avoid reproducing this outcome in other communities like McCall. Though our hospital is prepared to care for the citizens of Valley County and surrounding areas, an influx of people from elsewhere risks overwhelming the limited resources at our hospital. It also continues the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
Dr. Irvine’s message to all considering spending Spring Break in McCall and Valley County is, ”stay home and stay healthy, please allow us to do our job of taking care of our citizens.”
Our organizations are all hopeful, seeing resilience and people coming together for a common goal; to get back to normal as soon as possible. Please stay home, stay safe and visit us after the state of emergency has been lifted when we can provide everyone, locals and visitors alike, with the same level of care in an emergency.