Elmore County reports big spike in COVID-19 cases. No need to panic, officials say

Posted at 8:12 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 22:12:55-04

This article was originally published by Rachel Roberts in the Idaho Statesman.

Since the end of December, Elmore County has reported more than 50 COVID-19 cases in a single week just one time.

On Tuesday, Elmore County, which is home to Mountain Home and Glenns Ferry, added 43 new cases in a single day. It is the largest single-day increase for the county, surpassing the previous high of 39, on July 24, 2020.

There’s no need for alarm, however, a Central District Health spokesperson told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday.

The major increase is the result of a large batch of cases from Mountain Home Air Force Base that date back as far as December.

“We are working with the base to have them report at least weekly moving forward so that we don’t have this situation happen again,” CDH spokesperson Christine Myron said. “Plus, it gives us better visibility on what is happening in the county, real time.”

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare added 361 new cases Tuesday as the state’s seven-day moving average stayed above 300 for the 12th straight day, at 301.7.

Five coronavirus-related deaths were added between Ada (1 new, 447 total), Bingham (2 new, 69 total), Bonneville (1 new, 157 total) and Lewis (1 new, 9 total) counties. Idaho has lost 1,951 residents to the virus, with a case fatality rate of about 1.1%.

Southeastern Idaho Public Health says the Bingham County deaths were a man and woman, both in their 60s. The Bonneville County death was a man in his 80s, according to Eastern Idaho Public Health.

Ada (93 new, 48,519 total), Bonneville (56 new, 13,664 total) and Kootenai (32 new, 17,079 total) counties made up roughly 50% of Tuesday’s new cases. But Canyon (27 new, 25,330 total), Jefferson (16 new, 2,711 total), Bannock (11 new, 8,256 total) and Madison (11 new, 6,733 total) counties also saw double-digit increases.

The other counties adding cases were Benewah (2 new, 644 total), Bingham (6 new, 4,554 total), Blaine (6 new, 2,229 total), Bonner (7 new, 3,078 total), Boundary (2 new, 839 total), Caribou (2 new, 633 total), Cassia (2 new, 2,888 total), Clearwater (3 new, 1,020 total), Custer (1 new, 239 total), Fremont (4 new, 1,068 total), Gem (4 new, 1,717 total), Idaho (1 new, 1,169 total), Latah (8 new, 2,894 total), Minidoka (1 new, 2,305 total), Nez Perce (7 new, 3,461 total), Payette (4 new, 2,427 total), Power (3 new, 643 total), Shoshone (2 new, 1,040 total), Teton (5 new, 1,133 total) and Washington (2 new, 1,193 total).

To date, Idaho has reported 178,119 cases. Of those, Health and Welfare estimates that 99,387 have recovered.


Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 620,156, according to Health and Welfare. Of those, 243,081 people have been fully vaccinated.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 7,465 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,279 admissions to the ICU and 9,890 health care workers infected. Hospital and health care numbers are based on cases with completed investigations into contacts, not the full number of positives.

St. Luke’s Health System: As of March 22, the health system was reporting 31 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 474 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 4%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of March 22, the health system was reporting 17 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 347 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 8%.

Boise School District: Reported confirmed cases since March 16: Borah High (2), North Jr. High (2), Owyhee Elementary (1), Valley View Elementary (1), Whittier Elementary (1).

West Ada School District: Reported confirmed cases for March 9-22: Eagle High (5), Meridian High (2), Rocky Mountain High (1), Eagle Middle (3), Lake Hazel Middle (1), Meridian Middle (1), Star Middle (1), Victory Middle (1), Barbara Morgan STEM Academy (2), Eagle Hills Elementary (1), Hillsdale Elementary (2), Pepper Ridge Elementary (1), Ponderosa Elementary (2), Siena Elementary (5).

Total COVID-19 cases by county (confirmed + probable): Ada 48,519, Adams 333, Bannock 8,256, Bear Lake 365, Benewah 644, Bingham 4,554, Blaine 2,229, Boise 318, Bonner 3,078, Bonneville 13,664, Boundary 839, Butte 201, Camas 71, Canyon 25,330, Caribou 633, Cassia 2,888, Clark 56, Clearwater 1,020, Custer 239, Elmore 1,718, Franklin 1,110, Fremont 1,068, Gem 1,717, Gooding 1,275, Idaho 1,169, Jefferson 2,711, Jerome 2,530, Kootenai 17,079, Latah 2,894, Lemhi 515, Lewis 383, Lincoln 489, Madison 6,733, Minidoka 2,305, Nez Perce 3,461, Oneida 337, Owyhee 1,031, Payette 2,427, Power 643, Shoshone 1,040, Teton 1,133, Twin Falls 9,101, Valley 820, Washington 1,193.