Idaho Panhandle Health District

Panhandle Health District Names New Director

Sep 10, 2021
Courtesy of Panhandle Health District

Idaho’s Panhandle Health District has looked to its own ranks for a new leader.

Don Duffy was introduced Friday as the agency’s new director.

Courtesy of Kootenai Health

North Idaho is now in a "crisis standard of care"  and state health officials warn that the rest of the state soon could be as well, if more people don’t get vaccinated.

Remembering N. Idaho's 1997 Pertussis Outbreak

May 12, 2021
Courtesy of DeNene Banger and Randi Lustig

Longtime north Idaho residents may recall that, about a generation ago, their region suffered a communicable disease outbreak that has some similarities to our current Covid pandemic.

Two retired public health nurses have just published a book that looks back at that time.

Washington State Department of Health

Several government and private providers in the Northwest have paused use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine effective immediately after six women who had received the vaccine developed blood clots.

According to a Washington state Department of Health news release, the vaccine will be on hold until the state receives recommendations from the FDA and CDC.

Screenshot from Idaho Public Television

Idaho Governor Brad Little says the Gem State will soon drop most of the restrictions related to the Covid vaccine.

“I am glad to announce today that starting Monday, April 5, all Idahoans, regardless of their age, medical condition or occupation will be able to make an appointment to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, starting Monday, March 29, any Idahoan with at least one medical condition will be able to access the Covid-19 vaccine," the governor said.

Courtesy of Gilead

The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is in different phases of distribution around the Northwest.

Providence reports it has received almost 4,000 doses. Spokeswoman Beth Hegde says the health system’s highest risk caregivers will be inoculated with it on Friday.

Spokane COVID Response

Spokane County broke the 500 mark in new Covid cases for the first time on Monday.

The weekend numbers started innocently enough with the Spokane Regional Health District recording 146 new cases on Saturday. But then Sunday brought 368 cases, the third highest mark of the pandemic, 514 cases for the two days. And then, Monday nearly matched it, 513 new cases.

Covid Numbers Continue High In Inland Northwest

Nov 10, 2020
Spokane COVID Response

The Covid pressures continue in Spokane County and north Idaho.

The Panhandle Health District reported 177 new cases on Tuesday. That makes 361 cases over the last two days.

Spokane County had a bit of a reprieve, relatively speaking, 137 cases reported Tuesday, the lowest mark since at least Thursday.

Post Falls City Council Says No To Mask Requirement

Nov 9, 2020
screenshot from Post Falls City Counci meeting

The Post Falls City Council today [Monday] said no to a three-month measure that would mandate its residents wear masks in public places.

The proposal comes at a time when the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus continues to climb in north Idaho.

Panhandle Health District

Idaho public health officials say they’re so busy with Covid cases that they’re changing their contact tracing protocols.

On Friday, the Panhandle Health District reported a whopping 210 cases. Spokeswoman Katherine Hoyer says the epidemiologists can’t keep up.

Panhandle Health District YouTube

The Idaho Panhandle health board has voted to rescind its rule requiring people wear masks in Kootenai County.

The board had approved an enforceable mask mandate on July 23. It was a time when the Panhandle was approaching the peak of a coronavirus surge. That move was unpopular, so unpopular that even though the Panhandle is enduring another surge, the health board voted to remove the mandate.

Spokane Reports Lower Covid Numbers Over The Weekend

Aug 17, 2020
Spokane COVID Response


Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz continued today [Monday] to express cautious optimism about the county’s coronavirus situation.

The health district reported 90 new Covid infections over the weekend, including 24 today [Monday]. Those are some of the lowest numbers since mid-June.

Spokane COVID Response

Spokane County has set another one-day record for confirmed Covid cases. The health district reports 146 cases and two more deaths. That makes 14 deaths and 34 new hospitalizations of Spokane County residents over the last week.

Health Officer Bob Lutz doesn’t expect things to change anytime soon.

Courtesy of MultiCare

Spokane County has hit a mini-plateau when it comes to new Covid cases. County health officials reported 82 new cases on Wednesday, the fifth consecutive day in the eighties or less.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says the number of hospitalizations continues to inch up, with 63 active cases in Spokane on Wednesday, including 28 from outside the county.