Idaho adds second-most COVID-19 cases in one day; 21 more deaths reported

Posted at 7:31 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 21:31:29-05

This article was originally published by Ruth Brown in the Idaho Statesman.

Idaho reported 1,292 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 407 new probable cases Thursday, bringing the total number of new cases to 1,699 — the second-most in a single day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ada County reported 356 new confirmed cases Thursday, bringing the countywide total to 23,486 people infected, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Six more Ada County residents died of COVID-19-related causes, bringing the county death toll to 258 people.

Canyon County added 159 new confirmed cases, bringing the countywide total to 14,520 people infected, according to Southwest District Health.

Idaho health officials reported 21 more deaths as a result of COVID-19-related causes, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,022 people. Of those 21 people, six were from Ada County, two were from Twin Falls County, three were from Canyon County, and three were from Owyhee County. Nez Perce, Gem, Bingham, Bannock, Franklin, Bonneville and Bonner counties each lost one more resident.

So far this week, Idaho has reported 97 deaths related to COVID-19 — already marking a record with three days to go.

Also Thursday, IDHW posted its weekly update of test positivity. The rate dropped slightly to 18.3% for Nov. 22-28. It was a record 19.2% the previous week. However, test results dropped by 35% last week, and it’s unclear whether that’s because of a backlog of data from the holiday weekend that hasn’t been processed or if testing demand plummeted.

Since the pandemic reached Idaho, 89,905 confirmed cases have been reported statewide.

Health and Welfare reported that Idaho has had 16,716 probable cases of the coronavirus and estimates 42,274 people are presumed to have recovered from the virus.

Other counties to confirm new cases of the coronavirus Thursday include: Nez Perce 51 (2,257 total), Latah 38 (1,698 total), Idaho 2 (708 total), Lewis 3 (192 total), Clearwater 2 (489 total), Gem 14 (826 total), Owyhee 7 (655 total), Payette 8 (1,430 total), Washington 3 (657 total), Bannock 65 (2,901 total), Bingham 16 (1,903 total), Butte 2 (109 total), Caribou 1 (266 total), Franklin 4 (566 total), Oneida 1 (118 total), Bear Lake 2 (161 total), Power 2 (378 total), Boise 2 (118 total), Elmore 8 (701 total), Valley 8 (222 total), Kootenai 122 (7,196 total), Benewah 1 (275 total), Bonner 28 (923 total), Shoshone 9 (518 total), Boundary 8 (176 total), Bonneville 81 (6,090 total), Clark 1 (41 total), Custer 1 (137 total), Fremont 7 (687 total), Jefferson 25 (1,272 total), Lemhi 1 (376 total), Madison 57 (3,945 total), Teton 3 (430 total), Blaine 27 (1,256 total), Cassia 39 (2,026 total), Gooding 30 (747 total), Jerome 17 (1,618 total), Lincoln 3 (298 total), Minidoka 15 (1,608 total), Twin Falls 63 (5,787 total)


According to Southwest District Health, Adams County now has confirmed community spread of the virus. Adams was the last of Idaho’s 44 counties to declare community spread.

According to the health district, only 40% of Adams County cases can identify a potential exposure source.

Adams County remains at the yellow health alert level while the other five counties in the district — Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette and Washington — are unchanged at the red health alert level. The counties in red have testing positivity rates higher than 20%, with Owyhee and Payette counties sitting at closer to 30%.


After doing mass coronavirus testing at two prison in Kuna, the Idaho Department of Correction reported Thursday finding more than 250 new cases among inmates.

The Correctional Alternate Placement Program in Kuna reported 106 positive tests and 220 negative tests. CAPP is a men’s prison for low- to moderate-risk offenders.

More than half of the inmates at the South Idaho Correctional Institution in Kuna tested positive for the virus. IDOC reported that it found 142 positive tests and 99 negative tests. SICI houses men and women, and most are assigned a job and work inside or outside the facility.

The mass testing was announced in the IDOC director’s Nov. 25 update, which said tests would take place that week.

As of Thursday, five inmates in the custody of IDOC had died as a result of COVID-19-related causes.


All classes at Emmett Middle School will be canceled Friday, as the building will undergo a deep cleaning.

Students can pick up Friday breakfast and lunch bags between 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Emmett Middle School, or at Shadow Butte Elementary in the same time frame. Parents must go to the front door of the schools to get the meals, as curbside delivery is not available.

Athletic events, however, will not be canceled, according to a news release from the Emmett School District.

The district reported in a news release that 10 middle school staff members are unable to work after positive COVID-19 tests or needing to quarantine. Three spots were unfilled Thursday, forcing staff to step in.

Students and staff are required to wear masks or face coverings in classrooms. According to the district, the majority of the new coronavirus cases came from contact with others outside of the schools.

“We can control what happens in the schools during school time, but we are not able to stop the spread in homes and the community,” Superintendent Craig Woods said in the news release.

The school district is in Gem County, which has a test positivity rate of 25.97%, according to Southwest District Health.


Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 4,271 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 791 admissions to the ICU and 5,304 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 Dec. 2, the health system was reporting 146 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 527 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 20%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Dec. 2, the health system was reporting 98 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 332 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 27.2%.

Boise School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since Dec. 1 : District Services (3), Pierce Park Elementary (1), Riverglen Junior High (1) Trail Wind Elementary (1), Whitney Elementary (1).

West Ada School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff for Nov. 19-Dec. 2: Centennial High (11), Eagle Academy (3), Eagle High (12), Idaho Fine Arts (1), Meridian Academy (2), Meridian High (17), Mountain View High (27), Renaissance High (11), Rocky Mountain High (20), Crossroads Middle (2), Eagle Middle (3), Heritage Middle (9), Lake Hazel Middle (10), Lewis and Clark Middle (7), Lowell Scott Middle (6), Meridian Middle (6), Sawtooth Middle (3), Star Middle (5), Victory Middle (8), Virtual Middle (1), Barbara Morgan STEM (3), Cecil D. Andrus Elementary (4), Chaparral Elementary (1), Chief Joseph School of the Arts (2), Christine Donnell (1), Desert Sage Elementary (6), Discovery Elementary (3), Eliza Hart Spalding STEM (1), Frontier Elementary (1), Galileo STEM Academy (1), Hillsdale Elementary (5), Hunter Elementary (3), Mary McPherson (3), Meridian Elementary (3), Paramount Elementary (1), Pepper Ridge Elementary (3), Pleasant View Elementary (2), Ponderosa Elementary (4), Prospect Elementary (3), River Valley Elementary (3), Siena Elementary (1), Silver Sage Elementary (1), Summerwind STEM Academy (1), Ustick Elementary (2), Willow Creek Elementary (2).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Wednesday, Health and Welfare reported that 484,192 people had been tested statewide. About 18.6% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 23,486, Adams 97, Bannock 2,901, Bear Lake 161, Benewah 275, Bingham 1,903, Blaine 1,256, Boise 118, Bonner 923, Bonneville 6,090, Boundary 176, Butte 109, Camas 41, Canyon 14,520, Caribou 266, Cassia 2,026, Clark 41, Clearwater 489, Custer 137, Elmore 701, Franklin 566, Fremont 687, Gem 826, Gooding 747, Idaho 708, Jefferson 1,272, Jerome 1,618, Kootenai 7,196, Latah 1,698, Lemhi 376, Lewis 192, Lincoln 298, Madison 3,945, Minidoka 1,608, Nez Perce 2,257, Oneida 118, Owyhee 655, Payette 1,430, Power 378, Shoshone 518, Teton 430, Twin Falls 5,787, Valley 222, Washington 657.