Ada County makes up a third of COVID-19 cases Tuesday; Boise alters group restrictions

Posted at 7:43 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 21:43:27-05

This article was originally published by Nicole Blanchard and Hayley Harding in the Idaho Statesman.

Ada County accounted for nearly one-third of Idaho’s new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, state health data showed.

Ada County recorded 81 new cases, 30% of the 267 confirmed cases reported statewide. Officials also reported 108 probable cases, for a total of 375 on Tuesday.

After several days of low case numbers last week, Ada County has returned to reporting several dozen cases each day. On Tuesday, the county’s seven-day moving average of confirmed cases was 56.3 new cases per day. After weeks of swiftly declining seven-day moving averages, the Ada County average has fluctuated in the 50s and 60s over the past week.

Officials on Tuesday also reported five new deaths tied to COVID-19, two of which were in Ada County (437 total). Adams (4 total), Bonner (33 total) and Canyon (277 total) counties reported one new death each. Officials removed a death from Nez Perce County, whose total is now 51.

To date, 1,874 Idahoans have died of COVID-19-related causes.

The following counties reported new cases Tuesday: Ada (81 new, 39,791 total), Bannock (11 new, 4,708 total), Bear Lake (2 new, 255 total), Benewah (6 new, 492 total), Bingham (8 new, 2,566 total), Blaine (4 new, 1,964 total), Boise (1 new, 230 total), Bonner (9 new, 2,426 total), Bonneville (45 new, 8,944 total), Canyon (24 new, 20,963 total), Caribou (1 new, 331 total), Cassia (1 new, 2,441 total), Clearwater (1 new, 749 total), Elmore (6 new, 1,254 total), Franklin (1 new, 863 total), Fremont (3 new, 898 total), Gem (1 new, 1,335 total), Jefferson (5 new, 1,810 total), Jerome (1 new, 1,956 total), Kootenai (24 new, 14,818 total), Latah (6 new, 2,610 total), Madison (18 new, 5,583 total), Minidoka (2 new, 1,898 total), Nez Perce (1 new, 3,066 total), Owyhee (2 new, 880 total), Payette (1 new, 1,892 total), Shoshone (3 new, 948 total) and Washington (1 new, 848 total).

Lewis (278 total) and Valley (641 total) counties each had one case removed from their totals. Cases are sometimes removed when an investigation determines that an individual’s residence is in another county, health district or state.

Since March, officials have confirmed 139,414 cases of COVID-19. Nearly 95,000 people are presumed recovered from the disease.


The next group of Idahoans eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get those shots two weeks earlier than initially anticipated, health officials announced during a news conference Tuesday.

Subgroup 2.3 will be eligible for vaccines starting on Monday, March 15. The group includes people who work in food processing and agricultural plants (food service workers will be in group 3), grocery stores, manufacturing and public transit. Flight crews, U.S. Postal Service workers and residents of homeless shelters are also included in the subgroup.

The Idaho vaccine rollout plan had tentatively slated the next group to become eligible for vaccines in early April. Currently, people over 65 years old, health care workers, school employees and other frontline workers are eligible.

Find more information online at


Boise is clearing the way for groups of 50 people or more to hold events, including outdoor concerts, sporting events and more.

Events still need approval from Central District Health, but for the first time in nearly a year, large gatherings may be allowed in the city.

Those interested in hosting an event will be required to submit a health and safety plan to Central District Health using a form that will be posted online later this week, according to a news release. CDH will review the plan and make recommendations for precautions based on current guidelines, if necessary.

If the event requires a city permit for alcohol compliance or emergency services, it will need to go before the city. If not, that event can move forward with a recommendation of approval from CDH.

If CDH does not recommend approval, the city will make a final determination, according to the health order. Large events that do not have an approved plan could be in violation of Boise’s health order.

“I’m excited to offer a path for people to return safely to the events we’ve missed so much over the last year,” Mayor Lauren McLean said in a release. “I want to thank Central District Health for partnering with us, our local health care providers, regional partners, the business community, and especially our residents for helping us to slow the spread of COVID-19. The end is in sight, but as we begin to return to normal, we must all stay vigilant to ensure we don’t lose the gains we’ve made over the last few months.”

People are still required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.


Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 384,939, according to Health and Welfare. Of those, 121,883 people have received only their first dose.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 7,131 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,239 admissions to the ICU and 9,623 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 March 1, the health system was reporting 15 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 418 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 4%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of March 1, the health system was reporting 32 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 333 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 9%.

Testing totals: Health and Welfare reported that 641,917 people had been tested statewide. About 21.7% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

Boise School District: Reported confirmed cases since March 2: Borah High (1), Morley Nelson Elementary (1),

West Ada School District: Reported confirmed cases for Feb. 16-March 1: Centennial High (1), Eagle High (9), Mountain View High (1), Rocky Mountain High (3), Lewis and Clark Middle (1), Meridian Middle (1), Pathways Middle (1), Victory Middle (1), Barbara Morgan STEM Academy (1), Peregrine Elementary (2), Prospect Elementary (1), River Valley Elementary (1).

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 39,791, Adams 251, Bannock 4,708, Bear Lake 255, Benewah 492, Bingham 2,566, Blaine 1,964, Boise 230, Bonner 2,426, Bonneville 8,944, Boundary 414, Butte 164, Camas 53, Canyon 20,963, Caribou 331, Cassia 2,441, Clark 44, Clearwater 749, Custer 179, Elmore 1,254, Franklin 863, Fremont 898, Gem 1,335, Gooding 913, Idaho 881, Jefferson 1,810, Jerome 1,956, Kootenai 14,818, Latah 2,610, Lemhi 401, Lewis 278, Lincoln 371, Madison 5,583, Minidoka 1,898, Nez Perce 3,066, Oneida 223, Owyhee 880, Payette 1,892, Power 458, Shoshone 948, Teton 618, Twin Falls 7,006, Valley 641, Washington 848.