Coronavirus: Idaho jobless claims rise. 50 new cases among Idahoans in Arizona prison

Coronavirus-confirmed healthcare workers can return to work without being testing negative
Posted at 3:40 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 17:40:52-04

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

Idaho’s initial unemployment claims increased by 3% for the week ending Sept. 5 compared with the previous week, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

In total, 3,804 new claims were filed last week, an increase of 118 from the week prior, according to a news release from the department.

The number of those who requested benefit payments, or continued claims, dropped by 10% from the previous week to 13,021, marking 18 weeks of continued declines.

Just under a quarter of all claims were made by people between the ages of 25 to 34. People ages 35 to 44 made 21% of claims; people ages 45 to 54 made up 20%, and people under the age of 25 accounted for 14%.

Over the course of last week, the labor department paid out $41.9 million in unemployment claims. That number greatly increased from the week ending on Aug. 29 — which was $9.3 million — in large part due to the federal Lost Wages Assistance Program, which doled out $33.8 million. The program in Idaho paid $300 per week for five weeks in August as a supplement to regular state unemployment compensation.


On Thursday, 50 new, non-symptomatic positive COVID-19 cases were reported among Idaho inmates housed in an Arizona prison, according to updated statistics from the Idaho Department of Correction.

Prison officials reported Tuesday there were three positive, symptomatic cases and 71 non-symptomatic positive cases among Idaho people housed at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona. When the numbers were updated Thursday evening, the results of over 100 pending results were added, revealing 50 new asymptomatic positives and bringing the prison’s total to 121. The number of symptomatic positives remained the same.

Though IDOC updates its numbers regularly throughout the week, statistics from Saguaro are not as consistent. As of Thursday, 438 coronavirus tests have been administered at the Arizona prison.

In Idaho prisons, there are currently 42 symptomatic positive cases and 240 asymptomatic positive cases as of Thursday. Over 1,160 people who tested positive in Idaho prisons have either been medically cleared or have been released from custody, and 7,819 tests have been administered within Idaho prisons, according to IDOC’s website.

Two incarcerated people have died after contracting the coronavirus in Idaho prisons.


Health officials around Idaho reported 263 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and one death.

Since Sept. 3, Idaho’s 14-day moving average for new coronavirus cases has stayed below 300. After adding in the total from Thursday, Idaho’s 14-day average dropped to 263.4, the lowest it has been since July 4.

Ada County reported 52 new confirmed cases, bringing its total to 10,942. Just behind was Canyon County, which added 34 cases to its count, which stands at 7,185.