Currently, the surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant is of significant concern. In Moscow, wastewater tests continue to show increased concentrations of the Delta variant, which is spreading much faster than the original COVID-19 Alpha strain. In addition, the CDC has reported that those infected with the COVID-19 Delta variant are more likely to be hospitalized than patients infected with other variants, including the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma strains. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html.
Bill Lambert, Mayor of the City of Moscow, Idaho, issued an advisory proclamation on Sep. 24, 2021, encouraging community members and businesses to do their part to help prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Lambert’s proclamation encourages the following:
- All eligible individuals, please choose to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
- Follow the recommendations of our health care experts by:
- Getting vaccinated.
- Wearing face coverings indoors when you cannot maintain a distance of 6 feet or more from those not in your household.
- Frequently washing or sanitizing your hands.
- Follow the guidelines specific to your situation and your business type provided by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Public Health-Idaho North Central District, and the CDC.
Mayor Lambert explains, “Let’s set aside our political differences and beliefs to unite as a community, to make the choice to do our part to protect ourselves, our community members, to support our community partners and businesses, and to keep our kids in school.”
In support of the proclamation, effective Fri. Sep. 24 masks are required in all City facilities for employees and the general public.
Community concerns and recent developments that prompted the issuance of the Mayor’s advisory proclamation include the following:
- Sep. 1, 2021, the Moscow School District opened its doors for five (5) days a week of in-person instruction with the requirement of wearing face coverings within their buildings. As a result, the schools to date have reported zero (0) in-building transmissions and have been able to remain open. The Moscow School District Board of Trustees voted to retain the requirement to wear face coverings throughout the first semester of the school year.
- Sep. 6, 2021, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen declared that conditions exist in Public Health Districts 1 and 2 to activate crisis standards of care. The conditions in North Idaho, specifically at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’ Alene, were identified as particularly dire.
- Sep. 7, 2021, Gritman Medical Center issued a statement indicating it has not moved to Crisis Standards of Care at this time.
- Gritman has established a dedicated COVID-19 patient care unit in its hospital, which has been at capacity on several occasions.
- Gritman has reported the vast majority of its hospitalized and seriously ill COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.
- Gritman strongly recommends choosing to receive the vaccine to protect yourself, wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping social distance, and limiting gatherings with those outside your immediate household as effective methods to help slow the spread.
COVID-19 was first declared a public health emergency of international concern on Jan. 30, 2020, by the World Health Organization (WHO). On Mar. 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The pandemic continues to threaten all in our community, including health care systems and schools. The vaccine for COVID-19 was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Aug. 23, 2021, and is considered the most effective tool to manage COVID-19.
Information below includes local data counts from the City of Moscow's Water Reuse and Reclamation Facility, Gritman Medical Center, and the Idaho North Central Health District Department.