Six new positive COVID-19 cases were reported Friday in Whitman County. No new deaths or hospitalizations were reported since Thursday.

The newest patients include five people younger than 20 and one person between ages 20-39.

There have been 3,297 total cases in the county, to date.

According to Whitman County Public Health, the COVID-19 activity level in the county is still at moderate levels but is trending downward.

There were three new cases reported Friday in Latah County, where COVID-19 activity is still considered moderate by Public Health – Idaho North Central District.

There have been 2,492 total confirmed cases in the county so far, and 143 probable cases.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Southwest District Health on Friday confirmed the state’s first known infection with a known variant of concern of COVID-19 virus in a man living in southwest Idaho.

Laboratory testing identified the B.1.351 variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first discovered in South Africa in late 2020. There have been 19 infections with this particular variant reported from 10 states. This person recently traveled internationally and is thought to have been exposed before returning to Idaho.

Epidemiologists at Southwest District Health are working with DHW to identify any close contacts who were possibly exposed to this person. Health officials will provide guidance to anyone identified as a close contact and will monitor them closely for symptoms.

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