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Coronavirus: Ada County ballots to start mailing Wednesday; nearly 400 cases Tuesday

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 17:52:27-04

This article was originally published by Jacob Scholl in the Idaho Statesman.

Residents of Ada County will soon receive their requested ballots in the mail for the November election.

The county will begin mailing ballots to voters Wednesday, according to a news release from the Ada County Elections Office. Voters who have already requested their ballots can expect it in the mail as soon as next week.

The elections office said it has seen a dramatic increase in absentee ballot requests for the Nov. 3 election largely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first wave of mailing includes over 115,000 absentee ballots. The Elections Office said it mailed 26,968 absentee ballots for the 2016 general election, less than one-fourth of just the first wave of ballots for this election.

The elections office said many Ada County residents requested absentee ballots for the November election at the same time they requested a ballot for the May primary elections.

The final day to request a ballot is Friday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. To request a ballot, check your ballot status or to register to vote, visit www.idahovotes.gov.

EMMETT SCHOOLS ORGANIZE DRIVE-THRU TESTING

The Emmett School District said it is working with Crush the Curve in organizing a drive-thru coronavirus testing clinic this week.

In a news release Tuesday, the district said at least 134 students have been quarantined for the next two weeks. As of Tuesday, four students tested positive for the virus and nine were listed as probable cases. Twenty-five additional students and six staff members were listed as “suspected” cases.

Cases among students can be traced back to family members who already tested positive, the district said. Five staff members are also in quarantine.

Superintendent Craig Woods said the additional testing would give the district better data for decision making.

“We’re moving into our second month of face-to-face learning,” Woods said in the release. “We don’t want to lose that momentum, and we also want good and reliable data to make appropriate decisions.”

Despite the uptick in cases and recommendations from health officials, masks are still not required within Emmett schools.

NEARLY 400 COVID CASES REPORTED

Public health districts in Idaho reported 398 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, as the state’s numbers continued to trend upward.

Idaho’s seven-day rolling average of daily cases is now 449.3 — a steep increase from two weeks ago. On Sept. 15, the average was 261. The rolling average has grown every day since.

Public health officials announced six new deaths. One was reported in each of the following counties: Bannock, Bonneville, Cassia, Gem, Payette and Madison. Idaho’s COVID-19 death total is 466 as of Tuesday.

Ada County added 53 confirmed cases to its total, which is now 11,869. Canyon County reported 37 new confirmed cases, and its total now stands at 7,725.

Large totals were found in places like Madison County, which added 35 cases on Tuesday. Bonneville County added 36 and Kootenai County 22.

For the counties within the South Central Public Health District — Twin Falls, Blaine, Cassia, Camas, and Minidoka — new cases have nearly doubled in the past month.

As of Tuesday, there were 37,899 confirmed cases of the coronavirus among Idahoans.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare added 84 “probable” cases on Tuesday, bringing that total to 3,735.

As of Tuesday, 306,706 coronavirus tests have been conducted around Idaho, with around 12.4% of those tests returning negative.

Cases have been reported in all of Idaho’s 44 counties: Ada 11,869, Adams 27, Bannock 1027, Bear Lake 46, Benewah 146, Bingham 935, Blaine 651, Boise 55, Bonner 310, Bonneville 2,278, Boundary 47, Butte 36, Camas 30, Canyon 7725, Caribou 103, Cassia 679, Clark 29, Clearwater 46, Custer 59, Elmore 274, Franklin 129, Fremont 188, Gem 297, Gooding 250, Idaho 192, Jefferson 490, Jerome 681, Kootenai 2,684, Latah 458, Lemhi 83, Lewis 34, Lincoln 72, Madison 686, Minidoka 649, Nez Perce 421, Oneida 25, Owyhee 300, Payette 776, Power 243, Shoshone 213, Teton 163, Twin Falls 2,067, Valley 86, Washington 340.

Community spread has been found in all Idaho counties but three: Adams, Butte and Franklin.