This article was originally written by Nicole Foy and Jacob Scholl for the Idaho Statesman.
As Idaho races to vaccinate health care workers, hospitals reported a record number of COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care this week.
A total of 120 COVID-19 patients were in ICUs across the state Tuesday, according to updated data the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported Friday. That number decreased to 118 patients on Wednesday, the last day data from the state was available.
There were 467 Idahoans hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Wednesday. That number has fluctuated between 445 and 496 since Nov. 28.
At least 944 Idahoans had received the COVID-19 vaccination as of Friday, according to Health and Welfare.
Idaho’s seven health districts reported 1,084 new confirmed coronavirus cases Friday and 271 more probable cases, for a total of 1,355 new cases.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 459 new cases in Ada County (29,331 total) Friday, which likely includes an unknown number of backlogged old cases. Kootenai County in Idaho recorded 235 new confirmed cases (9,945 total), while Southwest District Health reported just 79 new cases for Canyon County (16,802 total).
A total of 107,173 people have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began in Idaho.
Other counties reporting new confirmed cases include: Adams (3 new, 137 total), Bannock (14 new, 3,507 total), Benewah (1 new, 314 total), Bingham (6 new, 2,164 total), Blaine (4 new, 1,400 total), Boise (5 new, 169 total), Bonner (32, 1,349 total), Bonneville (35 new, 7,183 total), Boundary (5 new, 223 total), Butte (minus 1, 120 total), Cassia (4 new, 2,174 total), Clearwater (1 new, 596 total), Elmore (26 new, 900 total), Franklin (6 new, 664 total), Fremont (2 new, 757 total), Gem (7 new, 1,029 total), Gooding (1 new, 812 total), Idaho (7 new, 782 total), Jefferson (7 new, 1,465 total), Jerome (5 new, 1,725 total), Latah (17 new, 1,938 total), Lemhi (1 new, 385 total), Lincoln (1 new, 333 total), Madison (8 new, 4,478 total), Minidoka (9 new, 1,696 total), Nez Perce (32 new, 2,631 total), Oneida (1 new, 168 total), Owyhee (3 new, 749 total), Payette (11 new, 1,604 total), Power (1 new, 412 total), Shoshone (27 new, 701 total), Teton (3 new, 455 total), Twin Falls (15 new, 6,132 total), Valley (6 new, 293 total), Washington (6 new, 718 total).
The state’s health districts also reported 14 new deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the total number of Idahoans who have died related to COVID-19 to 1,281. Deaths were reported in Ada (3 new, 311 total), Bonneville (2 new, 102 total) and Canyon (2 new, 197 total), and one each in Bonner (13 total), Bingham (39 total), Elmore (9 total), Gem (17 total), Jefferson (14 total), Payette (22 total) and Oneida (2 total) counties.
A death was removed from the Twin Falls County total (109), according to Health and Welfare. IDHW also removed a death of a person in their 30s from the state’s deaths demographics (the new total for that age group is five).
The Bonneville County deaths were two men in their 70s and the Jefferson County death was a man in his 60s, according to Eastern Idaho Public Health. Southeastern Idaho Public Health reported deaths involving men in their 90s (Bingham) and 80s (Oneida).
CENTRAL DISTRICT HEALTH BEGINS VACCINE DISTRIBUTION
Despite an anticipated shortfall in the number of vaccines it will receive from Pfizer, immunizations have been distributed within the Boise-based Central District Health. The district — which covers Ada, Boise, Elmore and Valley counties — received 4,875 does of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week.
During a meeting Friday morning, Central District Health said the expected number of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines that would be made available in the counties for next week has been “reduced dramatically,” according to Natalie Bodine, program manager for the district’s public health preparedness. That’s part of a nationwide distribution issue.
The vaccines that CDH did receive this week were divided among three health care systems — St. Luke’s, Saint Alphonsus and Primary Health. Hospital and outpatient clinic staff will be the priority recipients of the vaccine. After those medical facilities have been offered the vaccine, remaining doses will go to the next priority group outlined by the state’s vaccine advisory committee.
A COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna was authorized by the FDA on Friday. CDH is anticipating a shipment of 9,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine, according to a news release from the health district.
The district also noted that no government entities in Idaho will require anyone to take the vaccine. Health officials highly encourage the vaccine, but it is up to individuals to determine whether or not they want the immunization.
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT HEALTH OFFERS MORE FREE COVID-19 TESTING
Starting next week, Southwest District Health will have more COVID-19 testing options for people who have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms, according to Friday press release from the district.
Free drive-through testing will be available Monday through Saturday at Southwest District Health’s Caldwell facility at 13307 Miami Lane.
No testing will be available Dec. 25.
To schedule an appointment for drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Caldwell office, call 208-296-1030.
LONG-TERM CARE UPDATE
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare released its weekly update on COVID-19 in care facilities Friday.
Outbreaks at Idaho facilities increased by eight to 295 overall, total individual cases jumped by 478 (7,199 total) and deaths rose by 28 to 515, with six facilities recording their first death.
Active cases increased to 6,139 at 217 facilities — up from 5,817 at 216 facilities last week. There are 78 facilities with resolved outbreaks.
Below is a list of long-term care facilities by city that have active cases of the coronavirus:
American Falls: Power County Nursing Home; Ammon: Promontory Point Rehabilitation, Crystal Creek Assisted Living, Gables Assisted Living of Ammon; Ashton: Ashton Memorial Living Center; Bellevue: Cove of Cascadia; Bingham: Gables Assisted Living of Blackfoot II; Blackfoot: Syringa Chalet Nursing Facility, Gables Assisted Living of Blackfoot, Willows Retirement & Assisted Living, Gem Village Assisted Living, Bingham Memorial Skilled Nursing;
Boise: Terraces of Boise, Edgewood Spring Creek-Overland, Cascadia of Boise, Garden Plaza of Valley View-Valley View Nursing & Rehab, Garden Plaza of Valley View-The Bridge at Valley View, Overland Court Senior Living, Willow Park Senior Living, Arbor Village at Hillcrest, Arbor Valley of Cascadia, Edgewood Castle Hills, Shaw Mountain of Cascadia, State Veterans Home-Boise, Independent Living Services Freedom, MorningStar Senior Living of Boise, Edgewood Spring Creek Memory Care-Five Mile, Edgewood Plantation Place, Ashley Manor-Cloverdale, Regency Columbia Village, Communicare No. 3 Pond, Grace Assisted Living at Englefield Green, Ashley Manor-Cory Lane (formerly AarenBrooke Place), Cottages of Boise, Life Care of Treasure Valley, Grace Assisted Living at State St., Boise Group Home No. 1 Pennfield, Avamere Transitional Care, Riverview Rehabilitation, Boise Group Home No. 3 Holt, Boise Group Home No. 2 Molly Court, Boise Group Home No. 4 Eshelman, Park Place Assisted Living of Boise, Ashley Manor-Harmony, Good Samaritan Society-Boise Village, Trinity Assisted Living, Grace Memory Care, Edgewood-Ustick, Basil Celany Living Center, Hettinger Living Center, BrightStar Care Homes-Taft, Independent Living Services-Summerwind, Boise Group Home No. 8 Delmar;
Bonners Ferry: Community Restorium, Sunset Home Assisted Living; Bonneville: New Beginnings Community Living; Buhl: River Rock Assisted Living, Evergreen Place Assisted Living, Autumn Breeze; Burley: Mini Cassia Care Center, Parke View Rehab, Highland Estates, Rosetta of Burley; Caldwell: Autumn Wind, Canyon West of Cascadia, Lenity Senior Living, Caldwell Care of Cascadia, Grace Assisted Living Caldwell, Gables Assisted Living of Caldwell; Chubbuck: Brookdale Chubbuck, Ashley Manor-Hawthorne; Coeur d’Alene: LaCrosse Health & Rehab, Advanced Health Care of Coeur d’Alene, Life Care Center of Coeur d’Alene, Coeur d’Alene Health and Rehab of Cascadia, Courtyard at Coeur d’Alene, Rose Terrace Cottages, Legends Park Assisted Living, Renaissance at Coeur d’Alene, Garden at Orchard Ridge, Bristol Heights Assisted Living, Brookdale Coeur d’Alene, Lodge at Fairway Forest;
Darlington: Antelope Creek Living Center; Eagle: Edgewood Spring Creek Eagle Island, Foxtail Senior Living, Paramount Parks, BrightStar Care Homes-Prickly Pear, Edgewood Eagle; Emmett: River’s Edge Rehab, Meadow View Assisted Living, Apple Valley Residence; Gooding: Bennett Hills Rehab & Care Center; Grangeville: Meadowlark Homes, Grangeville Health & Rehab Center; Hagerman: Stonebridge Assisted Living of Hagerman; Hayden: Wellspring Meadows, Harmony House Assisted Living, Peterson Place Assisted Living, Maplewood Assisted Living; Homedale: Owyhee Health & Rehab; Idaho Falls: Life Care Center of Idaho Falls, Yellowstone Group Home No. 1, Teton Post-Acute Care and Rehab, Fairwinds-Sand Creek, Good Samaritan-Idaho Falls Village, Parkwood Meadows, Lincoln Court Retirement Community, Broadway Fields Assisted Living, Turtle and Crane Assisted Living, Broadway Hills, MorningStar of Idaho Falls, Tambree Meadows Assisted Living;
Jerome: Creekside Care Center, Desano Place Assisted Living; Kellogg: Mountain Valley of Cascadia; Kimberly: Oak Creek, Alpine Manor; Kootenai: Hearthstone Village; Kuna: Swan Falls Assisted Living, Communicare No. 5 Kuna; Lewiston: Prestige-The Orchards, Life Care Center of Lewiston, Advanced Health Care of Lewiston, Lewiston Transitional Care of Cascadia, Brookdale Lewiston, State Veterans Home-Lewiston, Guardian Angel Homes Lewiston, Pleasant Valley Shelter Home, Wedgewood Terrace, Royal Plaza-Lewiston; Malad: Oneida Long Term Care Facility; McCall: McCall Rehab and Care Center; Meridian: Creekside Transitional Care, Touchmark at Meadow Lake Village, Edgewood Spring Creek Meridian, Golden Years Oak Crest, Veranda Senior Living-Paramount, Grace Assisted Living-Fairview Lakes, Trinity at 1st Street, Meridian Meadows, Alpine Meadows Assisted Living, Harmony Hills, Golden Years Kimra, Tomorrow’s Hope-Deb;
Montpelier: Bear Lake Memorial Skilled Nursing; Moscow: Good Samaritan Society-Moscow Village, Aspen Park of Cascadia; Mountain Home: Country Living Retirement of Mountain Home, Cottages of Mountain Home; Nampa: Meadow View Nursing & Rehab, Streamside Assisted Living, Grace Assisted Living-Nampa, Karcher Estates, Cascadia of Nampa, Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, Orchards of Cascadia, Wellspring of Cascadia, Park Place Assisted Living, Heron Place, Communicare No. 1 Gem; Orofino: Clearwater Health & Rehab of Cascadia, Brookside Landing; Payette: Payette Healthcare of Cascadia; Pocatello: Brookdale Pocatello, Caring Hearts Assisted Living, State Veterans Home-Pocatello, Elegant Residential Living, Monte Vista Hills, Gables of Pocatello 1, Copper Summit Assisted Living, Pocatello Assisted Living Center-Willard House, Diamond Peak of Pocatello, Quail Ridge, Gateway Transitional Care Center, Gables Assisted Living of Pocatello II, Quinn Meadows Rehab & Care Center, Ashley Manor-Cedar;
Post Falls: The Lodge at Riverside Harbor, Life Care of Post Falls, The Bridge at Post Falls; Preston: Franklin County Transitional Care, Heritage Senior Living; Rathdrum: Generations Assisted Living; Rexburg: Temple View Transitional Care, Homestead Assisted Living Rexburg, Briarwood Assisted Living; Rigby: Rigby Country Living Center, The Wildflower of Rigby; Rupert: Autumn Haven Assisted Living; Salmon: Discovery Rehab and Living; Sandpoint: Life Care Center of Sandpoint, Luther Park at Sandpoint, Valley Vista Care-Sandpoint; Shelley: Diamond Peak of Shelley; Shoshone: Lincoln County Care Center, Desano Place Shoshone; Soda Springs: Caribou Memorial Living Center; St. Anthony: Homestead Assisted Living-St. Anthony; St. Maries: Valley Vista Care-St. Maries;
Twin Falls: Brookdale Twin Falls, Serenity Transitional Care, Chardonnay Assisted Living, Twin Falls Care of Cascadia, Heritage Assisted Living, Ashley Manor-Parkview, The Canyons Retirement Community, Clear Creek Home, Campus View Home, Blake View Home, Willow Place Assisted Living, Rosetta of Twin Falls, Cenoma House, Bridgeview Estates; Weiser: Weiser Care of Cascadia; Wendell: Stonebridge Assisted Living of Wendell; Winchester: Lakeside Assisted Living.
Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 944, according to Health and Welfare.
Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 5,086 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 928 admissions to the ICU and 6,215 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. 17, the health system was reporting 119 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 486 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 15%.
Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Dec. 17, the health system was reporting 97 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 409 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 23.7%.
Boise School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since Dec. 15: Adams Elementary (1), Boise High School (2), District Services (1), Frank Church High School (1), Hawthorne Elementary (1), Liberty Elementary (1), Longfellow Elementary (1), Maple Grove Elementary (1), Trail Wind Elementary (1), Whitney Elementary (1), Whittier 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 Dec. 5-18: Centennial High (2), Eagle Academy (1), Eagle High (9), Idaho Fine Arts (1), Meridian High (12), Mountain View High (5), Renaissance High (1), Rocky Mountain High (12), Crossroads Middle (1), Eagle Middle (2), Heritage Middle (4), Lake Hazel Middle (3), Lewis and Clark Middle (1), Lowell Scott Middle (1), Sawtooth Middle (4), Star Middle (1), Victory Middle (2), Barbara Morgan STEM (3), Cecil D. Andrus Elementary, (1), Chaparral Elementary (1), Chief Joseph School of the Arts (1), Christine Donnell (2), Discovery Elementary (2), Eagle Hills Elementary (4), Hunter Elementary (1), Joplin Elementary (2), Mary McPherson (1), Meridian Elementary (1), Peregrine Elementary (3), Ponderosa Elementary (2), Siena Elementary (1), Star Elementary (2), Willow Creek Elementary (3).
Testing totals: At the end of the day Thursday, Health and Welfare reported that 521,917 people had been tested statewide. About 20.5% of those have been positive for COVID-19.
Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 29,331, Adams 137, Bannock 3,507, Bear Lake 178, Benewah 314, Bingham 2,164, Blaine 1,400, Boise 169, Bonner 1,349, Bonneville 7,183, Boundary 223, Butte 120, Camas 42, Canyon 16,802, Caribou 271, Cassia 2,174, Clark 44, Clearwater 596, Custer 156, Elmore 900, Franklin 664, Fremont 757, Gem 1029, Gooding 812, Idaho 782, Jefferson 1465, Jerome 1,725, Kootenai 9,945, Latah 1,938, Lemhi 385, Lewis 241, Lincoln 333, Madison 4,478, Minidoka 1,696, Nez Perce 2,631, Oneida 168, Owyhee 749, Payette 1,604, Power 412, Shoshone 701, Teton 455, Twin Falls 6,132, Valley 293, Washington 718.