This article was originally published by Jacob Scholl of the Idaho Statesman.
A 20-year-old man in the custody of the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections has tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to a news release from the department, the 20-year-old is part of an IDJC reintegration program who lives and works in the community, meaning he does not live in a juvenile corrections center.
The department was notified of the positive test late Wednesday. The man has not been in a juvenile corrections facility since May and is showing mild symptoms, according to IDJC.
As of Thursday evening, no cases have been reported among those in custody in any of Idaho’s three juvenile correctional centers.
COVID-19 continues to be a concern in correctional facilities across Idaho.
On Thursday, the Ada County Jail reported it had 68 people in its custody test positive for the coronavirus, roughly a week after the first case was found in the jail. Jail staff tested all 86 people who lived in the dorm where the first case was found, later revealing well over half tested positive.
The Idaho Department of Corrections continues to conduct mass testing of inmates as well as its staff.
According to the latest statistics published by the IDOC on Thursday, there are 216 incarcerated people who tested positive for the virus but are not showing symptoms, an increase from the 107 asymptomatic cases reported Monday. The number of those showing symptoms has also grown from 58 reported Monday to 72 on Thursday.
The number of tests conducted went from 2,522 on Monday to 3,220 on Thursday. Over 2,100 tests have returned negative, and 734 cases are now considered inactive, meaning the person has been medically cleared or has been released from IDOC custody.
In a Thursday update, IDOC director Josh Tewalt wrote that the department finished mass testing at the South Idaho Correctional Institution and will finish another round of testing at the Idaho State Correctional Center next week. Both prisons are located in Kuna.
OVER 600 NEW CASES REPORTED THURSDAY IN IDAHO
For only the third time, the state added over 600 confirmed coronavirus cases to its totals, as Idaho’s seven health districts reported 604 cases on Thursday. Idaho now has 21,958 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Despite the large number of positives, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports that the state’s positive testing percentage is going down, though it’s still not where state officials want it.
From July 26-Aug. 1, Idaho’s testing percentage was 11.7%, a decrease from the 13.8% positive rate found in the previous week — July 19-25.
The positive testing percentage goal in Gov. Brad Little’s Idaho Rebounds plan is 5%, meaning the state’s positive percentage is still more than double the state’s goal.
Health districts also reported nine new deaths. Four were in Ada, which now has 76 total deaths, and three were reported in Canyon, which now has 46 deaths. Idaho now has 227 deaths relating to the coronavirus.
Canyon County reported the most cases on Thursday with 242 — the second-largest total it has found. The county now has 5,214 confirmed cases.
Ada reported 144 new confirmed cases, bringing its total to 8,040.
Double-digit confirmed cases were reported Thursday in Bannock (15), Bingham (10), Bonneville (51), Kootenai (31), Owyhee (11), Payette (12) and Twin Falls (17).
IDHW also reported 44 new “probable cases,” which now totals 1,483. It also lists 8,486 people to be “recovered” from the coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases have been found in nearly all of Idaho’s 44 counties: Ada 8,040, Adams 19, Bannock 377, Bear Lake 22, Benewah 52, Bingham 259, Blaine 560, Boise 36, Bonner 169, Bonneville 749, Boundary 37, Camas 1, Canyon 5,214, Caribou 29, Cassia 458, Clark 9, Clearwater 15, Custer 9, Elmore 195, Franklin 42, Fremont 64, Gem 153, Gooding 137, Idaho 29, Jefferson 146, Jerome 408, Kootenai 1,705, Latah 92, Lemhi 13, Lincoln 50, Madison 119, Minidoka 432, Nez Perce 123, Oneida 10, Owyhee 234, Payette 334, Power 55, Shoshone 79, Teton 64, Twin Falls 1,181, Valley 51 and Washington 187.
Community spread has been found in the majority of Idaho’s 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.