Ada County lands on Idaho’s new ‘hot spots’ list; homeless person tests positive in Boise

Coronavirus-confirmed healthcare workers can return to work without being testing negative
Posted at 8:15 AM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 10:15:01-04

This article was written by Rachel Roberts and Ximena Bustillo with the Idaho Statesman.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare added a new data set to its dashboard Wednesday that shows weekly hot spots and local trends.

The counties reporting the most new cases of the coronavirus so far this week are Twin Falls, Ada, Minidoka, Canyon and Cassia counties, respectively. Twin Falls has added 22 new cases and two COVID-19 deaths this week, while Ada County has seen an increase of 16 cases.

A total of 36 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus were reported Wednesday by the state’s seven health districts, increasing the statewide total to 2,945 cases. Additional cases were added in Ada (4 new, 795 total), Bannock (4 new, 51 total), Benewah (2 new, 10 total), Blaine (1 new, 504 total), Bonneville (2 new, 47 total), Canyon (6 new, 322 total), Cassia (4 new, 108 total), Franklin (1 new, 9 total), Kootenai (2 new, 89 total), Minidoka (2 new, 77 total), Nez Perce (1 new, 75 total), Twin Falls (5 new, 391 total) and Washington (2 new, 44 total) counties.

There are 313 “probable cases” in the state, an increase of seven from Tuesday. Health and Welfare reports that 2,628 cases are “presumed recovered.”

Gov. Brad Little is scheduled to address the state’s potential move to Stage 4 of his Idaho Rebounds plan on Thursday. Little’s press conference on the subject will be broadcast on Idaho Public Television beginning at 10 a.m.


The first positive coronavirus case has been found within the homeless population in Boise, according to Interfaith Sanctuary Executive Director Jodi Stigers.

In addition, Family Medicine Residency of Idaho brought a medical van to a hotel temporarily housing some of Boise’s homeless community and conducted 84 coronavirus tests.

“Yesterday we got the test result back and had tested the day before and quarantined the day we did the test,” Stigers told the Idaho Statesman. “Once we got the test back, that guest was moved to the COVID-19 hotel, which we also manage.”

Aside from the hotel they have utilized to provide shelter, there is an additional hotel for those within the homeless community who test positive. That hotel is run in partnership with the City of Boise and Central District Health Medical Reserve Corps, Stigers said.

“This is our first homeless person who is utilizing this hotel,” Stigers said. “As soon as all symptoms are gone, and honestly there aren’t a lot of symptoms, they’ll test again. As soon as they test negative, they will be safe to release.”

Meanwhile, all the guests at the hotel where the patient previously stayed will be quarantined for the two to three days it will take to get results back. If individuals test positive, they will be transported to the second hotel.

Interfaith Sanctuary began using the Riverside Hotel in March but has since moved to two undisclosed locations. Interfaith said it would release a formal statement on the situation Thursday.


Customers who dined at the Perkins Restaurant on 1600 Pocatello Creek Road in Pocatello on either June 2 or 3 may have been exposed to COVID-19, according to a press release from Southeastern Idaho Public Health.

A server at that Perkins has tested positive for the coronavirus. While SIPH considers the risk of infection low, it recommends that anyone who went to Perkins June 2 or 3 monitor themselves for any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms is advised to contact their health care provider.

“Exposure to wait staff is more than casual contact like you would have at a grocery or convenience store,” SIPH District Director Maggie Mann said in a press release. “Because of the nature of the contact, we believe it is important to notify the public.”


Hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 262 hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, 99 admissions to the ICU and 355 health care workers who have been infected. The hospital and health care numbers are based on cases with completed investigations into contacts, not the full number of positives.

Testing totals: At the end of the day Wednesday, Health and Welfare reported that 59,802 tests had been completed statewide. About 4.9% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 795, Adams 3, Bannock 51, Benewah 10, Bingham 24, Blaine 504, Bonner 7, Bonneville 47, Camas 1, Canyon 322, Caribou 3, Cassia 108, Custer 2, Elmore 32, Franklin 9, Fremont 3, Gem 13, Gooding 47, Idaho 3, Jefferson 7, Jerome 173, Kootenai 89, Latah 6, Lemhi 1, Lincoln 31, Madison 17, Minidoka 77, Nez Perce 75, Owyhee 8, Payette 22, Power 7, Teton 10, Twin Falls 391, Valley 3 and Washington 44.

Counties with community spread: Ada, Bannock, Benewah, Bingham, Blaine, Bonner, Bonneville, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Kootenai, Lemhi, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Teton and Twin Falls.