TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-There are now 12 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Blaine County prompting state and local authorities to prepare a Shelter in Place order for the county.

South Central Public Health announced Thursday afternoon that there were a total of 17 cases of the virus within the county, however one individual returned to their home state and the case is being investigated there. The new cases now brings the total for Idaho to 23, with the first confirmed case in north Idaho.

Gov. Brad Little made a statement this afternoon and said in part,

My office and members of my Coronavirus Working Group are fully engaged with the South Central Public Health District, Blaine County Commissioners, and mayors in that area to ensure a strong response is in place. Our number one priority is to slow the spread of the virus in that community and outside of it. To ensure that happens, the director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will issue an isolation order for residents in the area. We are still working on the details, and residents will still have essential services available to them, such as access to grocery stores and, of course, healthcare.

In a joint statement following the governor's remarks, the communities within the Wood River Valley explained what the shelter in place order will involve. It said,

Shelter in place means all individuals must stay at home unless they need to perform essential activities or go to work to provide essential business and government services. Many activities may continue, but people should return home promptly when these are completed. For example, individuals will be able to go to grocery stores and gas stations, pick up food-to-go at restaurants, or recreate outside provided they follow social distancing and other recommended self-care health practices. Business activities also may continue, but should be conducted from home as much as possible. As before, this is not a time to hoard supplies from local stores or online suppliers.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office also issued a statement following the governor's remarks and posted it to social media:

SCPHD said six of the new cases are males ranging in age from their 30's to their 50's. while six are females, with one under 20 years old, two in their 30's and two in their 50's, one is in her 70's.

EDITORS NOTE: the total number of cases statewide has been corrected. 

More From 98.3 The Snake