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Coronavirus: IDOC now publishing cases in Arizona prison; Idaho passes 30,000 cases

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Posted at 12:59 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 14:59:24-04

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

As more incarcerated people from Idaho move from a prison in Texas to one in Arizona, the Idaho Department of Corrections is now making coronavirus statistics at the prison public.

The COVID-19 cases at the Saguaro Correctional Center are now a part of the IDOC’s online dashboard. The addition was made this week. Saguaro — located in Elroy, Arizona — holds incarcerated people from multiple states including Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada and Kansas.

As of Tuesday evening, 297 coronavirus tests have been administered at the prison, with 251 pending results. One symptomatic positive was listed in the prison’s numbers, while 10 other people who tested positive were not showing symptoms.

Inmates are being transferred away from a prison in Eagle Pass, Texas, which has a contract with IDOC set to expire at the end of September.

IDOC’s data show the Eagle Pass prison, which can hold up to 620 people, has only conducted 25 coronavirus tests, reporting four positives as of Tuesday evening.

In Idaho prisons, 229 people have recently tested positive but are not showing symptoms, while 48 are positive and showing symptoms, according to the latest data from IDOC. Over 1,000 people in Idaho prisons have tested positive but have been medically cleared or released from prison custody. As of Tuesday, 7,137 tests have been conducted among IDOC inmates.

The department also recently added a column in its dashboard for coronavirus deaths, of which there are two.

Outbreaks in correctional facilities have been reported in facilities across Idaho, including local jails.

Earlier this week, the Ada County Jail reported it has 224 positive cases, though 150 have been medically cleared or have been released from the jail. In eastern Idaho, outbreaks in cases have been reported at county jails in Bonneville and Bannock.

IDAHO PASSES 30,000 COVID CASES

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Idaho surpassed 30,000 on Tuesday. The state went from 10,000 cases on July 12 to 20,000 on Aug. 2, and Tuesday it again reached a grim milestone.

Idaho now has 30,215 confirmed cases around the state. Health officials also added six deaths to the state’s total, which is now 370.

Two deaths were reported in Canyon County, bringing its total to 80. Single deaths were reported in Ada, Benewah, Bonneville and Kootenai counties.

On Tuesday, the state’s seven health districts reported 383 new confirmed coronavirus cases around Idaho.

Bannock County reported the most new cases of any Idaho county on Tuesday. Bannock reported 81 new cases, and Southeastern Idaho Public Health reported more cases than any other health district in the state.

In a news release, SIPH wrote the case count was higher due to “delays in the positive lab report system,” as well as an estimated 50 COVID-19 cases coming from the Bannock County Jail. In total, the health district reported 140 new cases Tuesday.

Ada County reported 78 new cases on Tuesday, bringing its total to 10,511. Canyon reported 35 new cases, and its total is now 6,858.

Other counties reporting double-digit new cases Tuesday include Bingham (34 new), Bonneville (24), Kootenai (12), Madison (10), Minidoka (11) and Payette (19).

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 58 new “probable” cases, which now totals 2,399. Of those with the coronavirus, IDHW reports 15,212 have recovered.

As of Tuesday, 256,697 coronavirus tests have been conducted, with about 11.8% of tests returning positive.

Coronavirus cases have been found in all of Idaho’s 44 counties: Ada 10,511, Adams 24, Bannock 706, Bear Lake 40, Benewah 116, Bingham 482, Blaine 587, Boise 49, Bonner 208, Bonneville 1,500, Boundary 44, Butte 22, Camas 3, Canyon 6,858, Caribou 42, Cassia 531, Clark 17, Clearwater 20, Custer 29, Elmore 239, Franklin 53, Fremont 102, Gem 190, Gooding 201, Idaho 42, Jefferson 308, Jerome 542, Kootenai 2,180, Latah 235, Lemhi 51, Lewis 8, Lincoln 58, Madison 209, Minidoka 525, Nez Perce 277, Oneida 19, Owyhee 277, Payette 606, Power 141, Shoshone 195, Teton 108, Twin Falls 1,518, Valley 78 and Washington 264.

Community spread has been reported 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.