BOISE, Idaho — This article was originally published by Rachel Roberts in the Idaho Statesman.
Ada County has confirmed its first two deaths due to the coronavirus, according to Central District Health Public Information Officer Christine Myron.
They are the fifth and sixth confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Idaho. A resident of Nez Perce County, two Blaine County residents and one Canyon County resident were previously announced.
The first individual in Ada County was over the age of 60 with preexisting health issues and a lab-confirmed coronavirus illness that was being investigated prior to death, CDH said. There was no information available on the second death, which was reported by CDH on Saturday evening.
“We extend our sympathy and thoughts to the family and friends of this resident who has passed,” said Russ Duke, director for Boise-based Central District Health, in a press release sent after the first death. “As some of us begin to see this virus impact those we know, it becomes much more personal. We urge each person in our communities to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 to protect themselves, family, friends, and neighbors.”
CDH will not provide additional patient-specific information on the deceased out of respect for the grieving families, the release said.
There have been 92 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ada County, according to CDH. Idaho’s total number of COVID-19 cases stands at 269 based on figures reported by the state’s seven health districts.
Blaine County has 114 confirmed cases — the most of any county in the state — up from 98 on Friday, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Kootenai County saw an increase in positive cases of the coronavirus for at least the third straight day, according to updated numbers posted on the Panhandle Health District website Saturday morning. Five additional cases were reported in Kootenai, which includes Coeur d’Alene, bringing the county’s total to 16.
The Panhandle Health District reported possible community spread in Kootenai County on Wednesday, but that case was still under investigation as of Friday, according to Katherine Hoyer, a public information officer for PHD.
Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 20 of Idaho’s 44 counties: Ada, Bannock, Bingham, Blaine, Bonneville, Canyon, Cassia, Custer, Fremont, Gem, Idaho, Jefferson, Kootenai, Lincoln, Madison, Nez Perce, Payette, Teton, Twin Falls and Valley counties.
Health and Welfare reported 4,282 tests had been completed statewide at the end of the day Saturday. About 6.3% have been positive for COVID-19.
IDHW also announced a toll-free number for Idahoans to call with questions about COVID-19 or the stay-home order that’s in effect. It will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, beginning Monday. The number is 1-888-330-3010.
NAMPA GETS MORE DRIVE-UP TESTING
Saint Alphonsus Health System has opened a COVID-19 assessment site in Nampa at its Garrity Campus Clinic, located at 1150 N. Sister Catherine Way. The site is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Saint Alphonsus also has a testing site at Meridian Health Plaza at 3025 West Cherry Lane in Meridian. There are multiple Treasure Valley hospitals and urgent care facilities offering drive-up testing, including St. Luke’s and Saltzer Health.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELP
Because the Ada County Courthouse is not open to the public, the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA) will assist with the filing of domestic violence and stalking civil protection orders.
The crisis center located at 720 W. Washington Street in downtown Boise will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Their Court Advocacy team will be available for walk-in and telephonic civil protection order assistance and video/telephonic order filing. The team can also provide individual safety planning.
FACES of Hope Victim Center, located at 417 S. 6th Street, also is able to help file protection orders online.
▪ With restrictions at the Canyon County Courthouse as well, those who believe they have a hearing scheduled are asked to check updated information on court cases at mycourts.idaho.gov. The daily court schedule is available at https://apps.canyonco.org/courtsSched/.