Coronavirus: Idaho’s weekly unemployment claims drop slightly; 3 new COVID deaths

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Posted at 2:47 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 16:47:46-04

This article was written by Jacob Scholl with the Idaho Statesman.

New unemployment claims in Idaho dropped by roughly 10% last week, according to the Department of Labor.

Last week state labor officials counted 3,250 initial claims for unemployment insurance, which was 357 fewer claims than was filed the week prior, a Thursday news release from the Labor Department said. The department also says that the state’s four-week moving average dropped 11%, as the average is now around 4,312 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims dropped by 4% from the previous week, keeping with a trend in previous weeks.

If breaking down the claims by age, people ages 25 to 34 filed 27% of claims, while people younger than 25 accounted for 18% of claims, according to the Labor Department. People ages 35 to 44 accounted for 20%, and workers between the ages of 45 to 54 made up 16%. Along gender lines, the Department of Labor says the claims were evenly split between men and women.

Over the course of the week ending in Aug. 8, the Idaho Department of Labor paid out $14.7 million in claims, a heavy decrease from the $38.1 million paid out during the previous week.

This drop was due to the ending of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provided an extra $600 per week in benefits.

Idaho has paid out $767 million to residents because of unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s labor department has been flooded with unemployment claims since the outbreak began, leaving thousands of Idahoans struggling to make ends meet.


Lewis County, the last Idaho county to have no coronavirus cases, reported its first confirmed case Wednesday, according to Idaho North Central District health.

The Lewis County resident is in their 80s, is not hospitalized and is said to be recovering at home. The case appears to be travel-related, but the health district is still investigating.

Idaho’s first coronavirus case was reported in Ada County on March 13, and five months later, every county in the state has at least one case.

The state’s seven health districts reported 443 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with three new coronavirus-related deaths — all in North Idaho.

According to the Panhandle Health District, two deaths were reported in Kootenai County, which now has 20 reported deaths, and the other in Shoshone County, which now has three fatalities.

As of Wednesday evening, Idaho has seen 251 deaths relating to the coronavirus. Of those deaths, 58 were reported in August.

Of Wednesday’s 443 new cases, 103 were found in Ada County. The county’s case total is now 8,860. Canyon wasn’t far behind, reporting 90 new cases Wednesday and increasing its total to 5,747.

Counties that reported double-digit new cases include Bannock (16), Bingham (14), Bonneville (58), Jerome (12), Kootenai (56) and Twin Falls (26).

Idaho has 24,442 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Wednesday. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare added 70 “probable cases” to its list, which now totals 1,715 as of Wednesday. IDHW also reports that 9,850 people have recovered from the virus.

As of Monday, IDHW reports there are 216 people hospitalized in connection to the virus, including 36 in intensive care units.

Since the outbreak began, there have been 1,051 hospitalizations due to the virus, and 296 have been admitted to ICUs. IDHW reports that 1,539 health care workers have been infected with the virus.

State health officials reported there have been 212,898 coronavirus tests completed around Idaho, and the positive testing rate is around 11.5%.

Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in all of Idaho’s 44 counties: Ada 8,860, Adams 19, Bannock 440, Bear Lake 26, Benewah 67, Bingham 311, Blaine 564, Boise 39, Bonner 182, Bonneville 970, Boundary 38, Butte 1, Camas 1, Canyon 5,747, Caribou 31, Cassia 484, Clark 10, Clearwater 16, Custer 10, Elmore 207, Franklin 46, Fremont 76, Gem 163, Gooding 154, Idaho 32, Jefferson 182, Jerome 444, Kootenai 1,893, Latah 108, Lemhi 32, Lewis 1, Lincoln 52, Madison 138, Minidoka 457, Nez Perce 145, Oneida 13, Owyhee 243, Payette 378, Power 64, Shoshone 129, Teton 76, Twin Falls 1,328, Valley 62 and Washington 203.

Community spread has been found in the majority of Idaho counties: Ada, Bannock, Bear Lake, Benewah, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Canyon, Caribou, Cassia, Clark, Clearwater, Custer, Elmore, Fremont, Gem, Gooding, Idaho, Jefferson, Jerome, Kootenai, Latah, Lemhi, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Oneida, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Shoshone, Teton, Twin Falls, Valley and Washington.