Idaho’s COVID hospitalizations, positivity, cases on rise

Hospitalizations for patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 appear to be on the rise again in Idaho.

There were 191 people hospitalized statewide as of Monday, according to the most recent available data from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. That’s up from 151 hospitalizations on Oct. 1.

The increase in hospitalizations mirrors a recent rise in daily case counts. The state’s seven health districts reported a combined 514 new confirmed and 153 new probable cases of the coronavirus Thursday for a total of 667 cases.

The 667 cases is the third-most in a single day since the start of the pandemic, and three of the four highest daily case totals have occurred in the last three days. Idaho added the second-most cases Tuesday (670 cases) and the fourth-most Wednesday (666 cases). Idaho’s single-day high for cases is 681, reported July 16.

“Our concern right now is the increase in hospitalizations that we are experiencing in our region,” said Geri Rackow, Eastern Idaho Public Health director, in a news release. “We want individuals to make choices consistent with public health recommendations to slow the spread of the virus and reverse this concerning trend.”

Idaho’s seven-day moving average of confirmed and probable cases reached 554.7 cases per day — a mark not seen since late July.

Idaho’s statewide COVID-19 test positivity rate increased for the third week in a row. Health and Welfare reported a rate of 10.5% on 21,841 tests for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3. The rate was 9.4% on 19,363 tests the previous week. Health officials say a rate below 5% demonstrates control over the spread of the virus.

Five health districts saw an increase in positivity from the previous week: Idaho North Central District (10.3% to 12.5%), Southwest District Health (7.4% to 7.9%), South Central Public Health District (11.8% to 15.6%), Southeastern Idaho Public Health (11.1% to 11.8%) and Eastern Idaho Public Health (16.1% to 18.8%).

Panhandle Health District (7.5% to 6.7%) and Central District Health (7.3% to 7%) were the only districts to experience a decrease.

New deaths were announced Thursday in Bonneville (1 new, 20 total) and Cassia (1 new, 8 total) counties. EIPH says the Bonneville County death was a male in his 70s. Idaho has lost 504 residents to the virus with a case fatality rate of about 1.08%.

Ada and Twin Falls counties each added 94 new confirmed cases. Canyon (55 new, 8,085 total), Kootenai (33 new, 2,925 total), Bonneville (32 new, 2,562 total), Bannock (27 new, 1,230 total), Minidoka (27 new, 771 total), Madison (24 new, 1,038 total), Cassia (23 new, 809 total), Jefferson (13 new, 573 total), Jerome (10 new, 753 total) and Nez Perce (10 new, 481 total) also saw their caseloads increase by 10 or more.

The other counties adding new confirmed cases Thursday were Benewah (1 new, 160 total), Bingham (4 new, 1,016 total), Blaine (6 new, 687 total), Bonner (4 new, 355 total), Butte (5 new, 57 total), Caribou (3 new, 121 total), Clearwater (4 new, 78 total), Custer (1 new, 68 total), Franklin (4 new, 180 total), Fremont (4 new, 253 total), Gooding (3 new, 299 total), Idaho (4 new, 228 total), Latah (2 new, 655 total), Lemhi (6 new, 105 total), Lewis (7 new, 50 total), Payette (4 new, 851 total), Power (2 new, 267 total), Shoshone (3 new, 219 total), Teton (4 new, 197 total) and Washington (1 new, 361 total).

Health and Welfare has reported 4,686 probable cases of the coronavirus, and 23,678 people are presumed recovered. There have been 41,951 confirmed cases statewide.

SWDH updates school COVID cases

In its weekly update on county health alert levels, Southwest District Health provided a county-level summary of coronavirus cases in schools as of Thursday.

The data show 46 active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 300 in quarantine throughout the health district. Isolation cases represent those who are currently positive with the virus; those in quarantine have been identified as a close contact of a positive case.

Here is a breakdown of cases by county:

Adams (gray health alert level): none

Canyon (orange): 18 students/staff in isolation, 150 in quarantine

Gem (orange): 4 in isolation, 95 in quarantine

Owyhee (gray): 1 in isolation, 14 in quarantine

Payette (red): 20 in isolation, 34 in quarantine

Washington (orange): 3 in isolation, 7 in quarantine

DAILY DETAILS

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 1,997 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 474 admissions to the ICU and 3,133 health care workers infected. Hospital and health care numbers are based on cases with completed investigations into contacts, not the full number of positives.

St. Luke’s Health System: As of Oct. 7, the health system was reporting 52 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 469 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 10%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Oct. 7, the health system was reporting 24 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 354 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 10.5%.

Boise School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since Oct. 6: Hidden Springs Elementary (1), Koelsch Elementary (1).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Thursday, Health and Welfare reported that 326,789 people had been tested statewide. About 12.8% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

Counties with community spread: All counties except Adams have been announced to have community spread.

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 12,652, Adams 27, Bannock 1,230, Bear Lake 51, Benewah 160, Bingham 1,016, Blaine 687, Boise 58, Bonner 355, Bonneville 2,562, Boundary 49, Butte 57, Camas 31, Canyon 8,085, Caribou 121, Cassia 809, Clark 33, Clearwater 78, Custer 68, Elmore 304, Franklin 180, Fremont 253, Gem 306, Gooding 299, Idaho 228, Jefferson 573, Jerome 753, Kootenai 2,925, Latah 655, Lemhi 105, Lewis 50, Lincoln 80, Madison 1,038, Minidoka 771, Nez Perce 481, Oneida 28, Owyhee 320, Payette 851, Power 267, Shoshone 219, Teton 197, Twin Falls 2,483, Valley 95, Washington 361.

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