Health Department investigates possible COVID exposure in Victor bar

TETON VALLEY, Ida. — Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH) is investigating a case of COVID-19 in a patron of the West Side Yard in Victor on Saturday, June 13 sometime between 4 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.

EIPH says the case involves a male in his 20s who has tested positive for COVID-19. Five known contacts of the infected man are being monitored. Others may also be at risk of having contracted the disease.

“We do not have very many details from the health department. The individual did say he had little to no contact with staff or other customers. I also believe he is being monitored from home and not in critical condition. We hope he has a quick recovery,” WSY manager Stacy Hulsing stated.

While the risk of exposure to other patrons is unknown, EIPH is recommending that any person who was at the establishment during this timeframe monitor themselves for any of the following symptoms of COVID-19: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, sore throat, headache, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or a new loss of taste or smell.

In this situation, EIPH was not able to identify all individuals who may have potentially been exposed to the confirmed case, which necessitated this public notification. EIPH has worked with West Side Yard’s management staff, who have been cooperative in the investigation.

All employees of the establishment potentially exposed on Saturday have been instructed to isolate in accordance with the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) guidelines to prevent any additional exposures related to this specific incident.

“The seven staff who worked in the front of the house on Saturday will take a short leave from work and quarantine. Though no one is showing any signs currently, we will be diligent in making sure our team is healthy at work,” Hulsing assured. “Our plan is to finish another deep clean and open with an altered process of service. We will ask customers to place orders for food and drinks at the bar or counter. All orders will be in to-go cups-containers. We just won’t have table service for a short time.”

As restrictions have been loosened and the state is re-opening, an increase in COVID-19 cases has been documented throughout eastern Idaho.

“COVID-19 is present in our communities. In fact, all of the counties within EIPH’s region with active cases include documented community transmission. That means when someone tests positive for COVID-19, we have not been able to determine the source of their exposure to the virus, which is true for this most recent case in Teton County,” stated Geri Rackow, district director for EIPH. “Interactions with others, especially those that occur in close contact without wearing cloth face coverings, puts individuals at greater risk for being exposed and potentially becoming infected with COVID-19. This is why we cannot let our guard down, but must continue to practice preventive measures to protect ourselves and others until this pandemic is over.”

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