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This week’s coronavirus trendline (10.16.20 edition)


Seven months into the coronavirus outbreak, Idaho set a pair of grim records Friday.

For the second straight week, Idaho logged a record number of new coronavirus cases. The state also reported a one-day record of 1,094 new cases.

The state’s coronavirus website illustrated Friday’s one-day case record in stark detail.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The weekly peak: On Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 52,250 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, up 10 percent from last week. That adds up to a seven-day spike of 4,752 new cases. The previous peak, 4,017 cases, occurred a week ago.
  • The daily peak: Friday marked the first time the state has reported more than 1,000 cases in one day. Idaho’s previous one-day record, 727 cases, occurred on July 15.

In other coronavirus headlines from the week:

Unrest in West Ada. The West Ada School District canceled classes for Monday, after more than 700 West Ada teachers planned a sickout to protest the district’s hybrid learning schedule. The state’s largest district plans to have 40,000 students in school every other day, even though the Central District Health department this week moved Ada County schools into the red, highest-risk category for coronavirus spread. Despite this move, CDH has recommended that hybrid learning can continue in Ada County.

Hybrid learning in Boise. Based on the CDH recommendations, junior high school and high school students will return to Boise classrooms on Monday, on an alternating schedule. Grade school students are already on a hybrid schedule.

Children’s case numbers rise rapidly. On Aug. 7, about 1,800 school-aged children tested positive for coronavirus, according to state data. This week, that number approached 4,400. That spike, correlating with the start of the school year, exceeds the state’s overall rate of increase in cases.

New K-12 school numbers. However, the number of new cases in K-12 schools dropped slightly this week, according to a Department of Health and Welfare report Friday. The state reported a minimum of 94 new K-12 cases, compared to a minimum of 103 a week ago. The hotspots: Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene and Northside Elementary School in Sandpoint, with six new cases each. (This report only includes schools with 50 or more students, and the case numbers also include teachers and staff.)

A warning from BYU-Idaho. University officials issued a stern warning to students Monday. Students who deliberately contract coronavirus in order to sell plasma containing virus antibodies face a possible suspension. “There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet,” the university said in a statement.

This week’s numbers (and comparisons with last week):

Statewide data Oct. 9 Oct. 16 Change, Oct. 3-9 Change, Oct. 10-16
Cases, confirmed and probable 47,498 52,250 4,017 4,752
Total cases, ages 0-4 818 875 54 57
Total cases, ages 5-12 1,543 1,705 131 162
Total cases, ages 13-17 2,557 2,804 257 247
Total cases, ages 18-29 13,490 14,856 944 1,366
Weekly cases, K-12 schools (minimum) 103 94 +52 -9
Deaths 506 523 32 17
Hospitalizations 2,013 2,174 120 161
ICU admissions 475 495 13 20
Estimated, patients recovered 23,881 25,457 1,313 1,576
Idahoans tested 330,962 348,518 16,520 17,556
Health care workers infected 3,170 3,349 260 179
Positive test rate (based on all cases divided by testing numbers, as reported by the state) 14.4 percent 15.0 percent +0.6 percentage points +0.6 percentage points

 

Top five counties, by total cases Oct. 9 Oct. 16 New cases, Oct. 3-9 New cases, Oct. 10-16
Ada 14,138 14,913 795 775
Canyon 8,724 9,102 349 378
Bonneville 3,278 3,732 345 454
Kootenai 3,004 3,277 214 273
Twin Falls 2,813 3,220 360 407

 

County hotspots (weekly increase of more than 10 percent) Oct. 9 Oct. 16 New cases, Oct. 3-9 New cases, Oct. 10-16
Adams 29 32 0 3
Bannock 1,616 1,898 303 282
Bear Lake 53 59 5 6
Bingham 1,223 1,379 128 156
Bonneville 3,278 3,732 345 454
         
Boundary 68 89 9 21
Butte 64 76 21 12
Caribou 169 206 29 37
Cassia 916 1,070 122 154
Clearwater 97 120 34 23
         
Custer 77 92 6 15
Franklin 220 276 52 56
Fremont 285 351 22 66
Gooding 366 432 42 66
Idaho 244 290 24 46
         
Jefferson 715 828 74 113
Latah 696 806 126 110
Lemhi 132 168 21 34
Lewis 52 64 16 12
Lincoln 103 130 9 27
         
Madison 1,301 1,903 368 602
Minidoka 868 996 120 128
Nez Perce 525 612 56 87
Oneida 31 38 2 7
Teton 222 256 27 34
         
Twin Falls 2,813 3,220 360 407
Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television; and “Idaho Matters” on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Read more stories by Kevin Richert »

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