Idaho COVID-19 ICU admissions hit record high as state adds 12 deaths, 1,200-plus cases

Posted at 9:22 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 23:22:04-05

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

Idaho hit a record high number of patients admitted to intensive care units because of COVID-19 on Friday and Saturday, according to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare data published Monday.

The department reported a record 110 ICU patients with COVID-19, breaking the previous record of 108 patients set on Nov. 23. In the last two weeks, as ICU admissions have increased, the average number of patients in intensive care reached 94.9 per day.

State and district health officials also reported 913 confirmed and 374 probable cases of COVID-19, for a total of 1,287 new cases Monday. Nearly one-third of the confirmed cases were reported in Ada County, according to IDHW data. The state tallied 302 new cases in Ada County, bringing its total to 22,497. Canyon County was the only other county to report more than 100 cases. It added 132 cases for a total of 14,052.

The following counties also reported new cases on Monday: Adams (2 new, 91 total), Bannock (33 new, 2,757 total), Bear Lake (3 new, 153 total), Bingham (21 new, 1,843 total), Blaine (2 new, 1,203 total), Boise (3 new, 112 total), Bonner (7 new, 857 total), Bonneville (78 new, 5,854 total), Boundary (1 new, 161 total), Butte (1 new, 105 total), Caribou (2 new, 265 total), Cassia (4 new, 1,983 total), Clearwater (7 new, 482 total), Custer (1 new, 129 total), Elmore (9 new, 668 total), Franklin (9 new, 545 total), Fremont (6 new, 670 total), Gem (9 new, 791 total), Gooding (4 new, 701 total), Idaho (12 new, 696 total), Jefferson (20 new, 1,223 total), Jerome (3 new, 1,580 total), Kootenai (70 new, 6,814 total), Latah (9 new, 1,614 total), Lemhi (3 new, 375 total), Lewis (9 new, 183 total), Lincoln (1 new, 289 total), Madison (50 new, 3,817 total), Minidoka (4 new, 1,590 total), Nez Perce (33 new, 2,097 total), Oneida (1 new, 110 total), Owyhee (12 new, 637 total), Payette (8 new, 1,385 total), Power (3 new, 374 total), Shoshone (4 new, 491 total), Teton (4 new, 424 total), Twin Falls (21 new, 5,652 total), Valley (6 new, 204 total) and Washington (4 new, 641 total).

Officials also recorded 12 new deaths due to COVID-19: one in Ada County (241 total), three in Bannock County (32 total), two in Bonneville County (67 total), four in Kootenai County (80 total), one in Bonner County (5 total) and one in Payette County (15 total). According to local health districts, the individuals who died in Bannock County were a man in his 40s, a woman in her 40s and a man in his 70s. The Bonneville County deaths were both women, one in her 70s and the other in her 90s.

As of Monday, 937 Idahoans have died of COVID-19.

To date, there have been 86,457 confirmed cases and 15,427 probable cases,

In its weekly update provided Monday, Health and Welfare reported confirming 154 cases of coronavirus in K-12 schools statewide for Nov. 23-29. That’s down fromthe recorded 500 confirmed casesbetween Nov. 16-22, though the sharp decrease is likely due to lack of reporting during the Thanksgiving holiday week.


A 59-year-old man incarcerated at the Payette County Jail died in a Treasure Valley hospital after he contracted COVID-19. This is the first reported COVID-19 death of someone being held at an Idaho jail.

Andrew Cremers, who was booked into the jail Oct. 28, died Wednesday, Nov. 25, according to a news release from the Payette County Sheriff’s Office. Cremers was booked in jail on one felony and two misdemeanor warrants, as well as a felony warrant out of Wisconsin.

Cremers started to show symptoms of the coronavirus and was taken to a hospital on Nov. 20. He died five days later. The sheriff’s office said Cremers had limited contact with other inmates in the jail, and he shared a cell with one person when the symptoms appeared. That person is being quarantined and was not showing COVID-19 symptoms as of Monday.

Payette deputies will continue to screen jail inmates for high temperatures and common coronavirus symptoms, according to the news release. If an inmate needs medical attention, they are treated by the jail’s doctor or Payette County Paramedics.

This isn’t the first coronavirus cases to be reported at the Payette jail, as the sheriff’s office reported two confirmed coronavirus cases in July.

Four people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Payette County jail since the pandemic began, according to Lt. Andy Creech of the Payette County Sheriff’s Office. A total of 16 people have been tested throughout the pandemic. As of Monday, the jail has 53 people in custody, and the facility holds up to 72 people.

The sheriff’s office is working with Southwest District Health to bring testing to the jail. Once that is done, inmates showing symptoms can be tested.

Cremers is the sixth person incarcerated in Idaho to die from the coronavirus, though he is the only to die while in custody of a local jail. Since the coronavirus first reached Idaho, five people have died while in Idaho Department of Correction custody — four while being held in Idaho and one who was being held in a private Arizona prison.


Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 4,049 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 756 admissions to the ICU and 5,047 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 Nov. 29, the health system was reporting 127 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 476 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 22%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Nov. 29, the health system was reporting 90 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 278 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 26.6%.

Boise School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since Nov. 17: Adams Elementary (2), Amity Elementary (2), Boise High (7), Borah High (6), Capital High (3), Collister Elementary (2), District Services (7), Fairmont Junior High (4), Frank Church High (1), Grace Jordan Elementary (2), Hidden Springs Elementary (2), Highlands Elementary (2), Hillcrest Elementary (4), Hillside Junior High (2), Les Bois Junior High (5), Liberty Elementary (2), Longfellow Elementary (1), Lowell Elementary (1), Madison Early Childhood Education Center (1), Maple Grove Elementary (1), Morley Nelson Elementary (1), North Junior High (1), Riverside Elementary (3), Roosevelt Elementary (3), South Junior High (3), Taft Elementary (2), Timberline High (5), Trail Wind Elementary (1), Valley View Elementary (1), Washington Elementary (2), Whittier Elementary (4).

West Ada School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff for Nov. 17-30: Centennial High (9), Eagle Academy (2), Eagle High (15), Idaho Fine Arts (2), Meridian Academy (1), Meridian High (7), Mountain View High (14), Renaissance High (9), Rocky Mountain High (14), Virtual High School (1), Crossroads Middle (3), Eagle Middle (3), Heritage Middle (8), Lewis and Clark Middle (3), Lowell Scott Middle (9), Meridian Middle (3), Sawtooth Middle (3), Star Middle (5), Victory Middle (6), Virtual Middle (1), Barbara Morgan STEM (3), Cecil D. Andrus Elementary (2), Chaparral Elementary (1), Christine Donnell (1), Desert Sage Elementary (2), Discovery Elementary (3), Eliza Hart Spalding STEM (3), Frontier Elementary (1), Hillsdale Elementary (4), Hunter Elementary (3), Mary McPherson (4), Meridian Elementary (2), Paramount Elementary (1), Pepper Ridge (3), Pleasant View Elementary (1), Ponderosa Elementary (2), Prospect Elementary (3), River Valley Elementary (4), Seven Oaks Elementary (1), Siena Elementary (1), Silver Sage Elementary (2), Summerwind STEM Academy (1), Ustick Elementary (4).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Monday, Health and Welfare reported that 474,676 people had been tested statewide. About 18.2% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

Counties with community spread: All counties except Adams have been announced to have community spread.

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 22,497, Adams 91, Bannock 2,757, Bear Lake 153, Benewah 261, Bingham 1,843, Blaine 1,203, Boise 112, Bonner 857, Bonneville 5,854, Boundary 161, Butte 105, Camas 41, Canyon 14,052, Caribou 265, Cassia 1,983, Clark 40, Clearwater 482, Custer 129, Elmore 668, Franklin 545, Fremont 670, Gem 791, Gooding 701, Idaho 696, Jefferson 1,223, Jerome 1,580, Kootenai 6,814, Latah 1,614, Lemhi 375, Lewis 183, Lincoln 289, Madison 3,817, Minidoka 1,590, Nez Perce 2,097, Oneida 110, Owyhee 637, Payette 1,385, Power 374, Shoshone 491, Teton 424, Twin Falls 5,652, Valley 204, Washington 641.