Idaho COVID-19 case tally falls again, but health care worker infections rise significantly

Posted at 8:10 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 22:10:13-04

This article was originally published by Ian Max Stevenson in the Idaho Statesman.

Editor’s Note: We’re changing our COVID-19 data coverage. Beginning June 1, the Idaho Statesman will stop publishing daily COVID-19 data stories. However, we will continue to update our “what we know” file that provides a daily look at new cases by county and other key numbers. Then we will publish a weekly story on Fridays (Sunday print) that highlights all of the most important information from the week, including the trend in new cases, the weekly test positivity rate, vaccine uptake and the long-term care report.

The number of new COVID-19 cases fell in Idaho again on Friday, and the state added no new deaths.

Forty-nine of the day’s tally — 135 new cases total — were in Ada County (52,800 total), according to updated data from the Department of Health and Welfare. The state also added more than 1,000 health care worker infections, an unusually large increase. For most of May, the state has added between 10 and 20 new health care workers to the total each day.

A similarly unusual jump in hospitalizations and testing data occurred on Wednesday. On Thursday, Health and Welfare told the Idaho Statesman that the numbers were a result of an error that was corrected, so the hospitalization number was catching up on data over several weeks.

The Statesman reached out to Health and Welfare for more information on Friday’s health care worker figures. It could be that the figures simply reflect a catch-up of backlogged data.

In total, 8,582 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in Idaho, and there have been 111,299 estimated recoveries. The state says 1,450 people have been admitted to an ICU, and 2,090 people have died.

The total COVID-19 case count now stands at 192,012.

The other counties adding new cases on Friday were: Bannock (3 new, 8,840 total), Bear Lake (1 new, 391 total), Bingham (1 new, 4,850 total), Blaine (1 new, 2,386 total), Boise (1 new, 365 total), Bonner (2 new, 3,306 total), Bonneville (4 new, 14,983 total), Canyon (22 new, 27,135 total), Caribou (1 new, 701 total), Cassia (2 new, 2,949 total), Custer (2 new, 255 total), Elmore (3 new, 2,068 total), Gem (2 new, 1,809 total), Jerome (1 new, 2,627 total), Kootenai (26 new, 18,554 total), Latah (2 new, 3,196 total), Lewis (1 new, 412 total), Madison (4 new, 7,277 total), Shoshone (2 new, 1,146 total).

The state also subtracted one case from Minidoka County (2,341 total).


As of Friday, there were 1,064 active COVID-19 cases associated with 25 long-term care facilities, according to Health and Welfare.

Since last March, there have been 320 outbreaks and 9,583 total cases at such facilities. In total, 795 people have died at care facilities, which is about 38% of the deaths that have occurred statewide.

Below is a list of long-term care facilities by city that have active cases of the coronavirus among residents and/or staff. For an outbreak to be considered “resolved,” more than 28 days must pass (two incubation periods) without any additional cases associated with the facility.

American Falls: Edgewood Spring Creek American Falls; Boise: Edgewood Spring Creek-Overland, Avamere Transitional Care; Bonners Ferry: Community Restorium; Chubbuck: Brookdale Chubbuck; Coeur d’Alene: Life Care Center of Coeur d’Alene, LaCrosse Health & Rehab; Emmett: River’s Edge Rehab; Garden City: Garnet Place; Idaho Falls: Broadway Fields Assisted Living, Lincoln Court Retirement Community; Jerome: Desano Place Assisted Living;

Lewiston: Guardian Angel Homes Lewiston (now Generations at Lewiston); Meridian: Aspire-Elk Run, Aspire-Vineyard; Mountain Home: Ashley Manor-Mountain Home; Nampa: Heron Place, Aspire-Sunset Oaks, Sunny Ridge, Southwest Idaho Treatment Center; Orofino: Clearwater Health & Rehab of Cascadia; Pocatello: Gateway Transitional Care Center, Brookdale Pocatello, Elegant Residential Living; Shelley: Diamond Peak of Shelley.


Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 1,220,941, according to Health and Welfare. Of those, 590,772 people have been fully vaccinated.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 8,582 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,450 admissions to the ICU and 11,839 health care workers infected. Hospital and health care numbers are based on cases with completed investigations into contacts, not the full number of positives. The number of health care workers listed on Thursday was only 10,721; the Statesman has asked Health and Welfare for an explanation regarding the abnormal increase.

St. Luke’s Health System: As of May 27, the health system was reporting 17 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 May 27, the health system was reporting 33 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 389 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 6%.

Boise School District: Reported confirmed cases since May 25: Hidden Springs Elementary (1).

West Ada School District: Reported confirmed cases for May 14-May 27: Meridian High (8), Mountain View High (1), Renaissance High (1), Rocky Mountain High (1), Eagle Middle (1), Lake Hazel Middle (2), Lowell Scott Middle (1), Meridian Middle (2), Sawtooth Middle (3), Victory Middle (5), Christine Donnell School of the Arts (1), Hunter Elementary (2), Paramount Elementary (1), River Valley Elementary (1).

Total COVID-19 cases by county (confirmed + probable): Ada 52,800, Adams 341, Bannock 8,840, Bear Lake 391, Benewah 697, Bingham 4,850, Blaine 2,386, Boise 365, Bonner 3,306, Bonneville 14,983, Boundary 872, Butte 211, Camas 72, Canyon 27,135, Caribou 701, Cassia 2,949, Clark 59, Clearwater 1,069, Custer 255, Elmore 2,068, Franklin 1,199, Fremont 1,136, Gem 1,809, Gooding 1,317, Idaho 1,266, Jefferson 3,017, Jerome 2,627, Kootenai 18,554, Latah 3,196, Lemhi 532, Lewis 412, Lincoln 511, Madison 7,277, Minidoka 2,341, Nez Perce 3,678 Oneida 363, Owyhee 1,077, Payette 2,584, Power 657, Shoshone 1,146, Teton 1,227, Twin Falls 9,662, Valley 847, Washington 1,227.