Idaho reached 200 COVID deaths in 5 months; just 2 months later, the state has hit 500

Coronavirus-confirmed healthcare workers can return to work without being testing negative
Posted at 7:43 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 21:43:56-04

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

Nine new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported on Wednesday in Idaho, and statewide the number of cases continued to climb at an unsettling rate.

Idaho has now lost 502 residents to the virus since the start of the pandemic in March. The case fatality rate is about 1.09%.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced new deaths in Kootenai (5 new, 44 total), Bannock (2 new, 8 total), Bonneville (1 new, 19 total) and Lewis (1 new, 2 total) counties. At least one coronavirus-related death has occurred in 34 of Idaho’s 44 counties.

The latest deaths in Bannock County were a female in her 40s and a female in her 90s, according to Southeastern Idaho Public Health. Eastern Idaho Public Health said the Bonneville County death was a male in his 70s.

According to updated demographics from Health and Welfare for four of the other deaths, one individual was in their 60s, one was in their 70s and two individuals were 80 or older.

Idaho announced its first death from the coronavirus on March 26 and surpassed 200 deaths on Aug. 3. It has taken just two months since to reach 502 deaths.

The state’s seven public health districts reported a combined 530 new confirmed and 136 new probable cases on Wednesday for a total of 666. That figure is the third-most in a single day. The second-most occurred on Tuesday (670 cases), and the most came on July 16 (681 cases).

The state’s seven-day moving average has climbed to 527.6 cases per day. The average was 263.9 just three weeks ago.

Ada County added 84 confirmed (12,558 total) and 35 probable cases on Wednesday. Canyon County wasn’t far behind with 80 new confirmed (8,030 total) and 10 probables. The 80 confirmed cases is the most for Canyon County since Aug. 19.

Twin Falls (63 new, 2,389 total), Kootenai (51 new, 2,892 total), Bonneville (28 new, 2,530 total), Latah (27 new, 653 total), Madison (20 new, 1,014 total), Minidoka (16 new, 744 total), Nez Perce (16 new, 471 total), Bingham (15 new, 1,012 total), Jerome (15 new, 743 total), Bannock (14 new, 1,203 total) and Bonner (12 new, 351 total) counties also saw double-digit increases.

The other counties reporting new confirmed cases on Wednesday were Benewah (7 new, 159 total), Blaine (8 new, 681 total), Butte (4 new, 52 total), Caribou (1 new, 118 total), Cassia (9 new, 786 total), Custer (3 new, 67 total), Elmore (5 new, 304 total), Fremont (5 new, 249 total), Gooding (7 new, 296 total), Idaho (4 new, 224 total), Jefferson (9 new, 560 total), Lemhi (3 new, 99 total), Lewis (3 new, 43 total), Lincoln (2 new, 80 total), Oneida (1 new, 28 total), Owyhee (6 new, 320 total), Payette (9 new, 847 total), Power (1 new, 265 total), Shoshone (1 new, 216 total) and Teton (4 new, 193 total).

Idaho North Central District removed two cases from Clearwater County (74 total), and Health and Welfare removed one case from Boise County (58 total). Cases are sometimes removed when a health district learns an individual’s permanent address is in another county, health district or state.

Health and Welfare has reported 4,533 probable cases of the coronavirus, and 23,475 people are presumed recovered. There have been 41,437 confirmed cases statewide.


Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 1,972 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 470 admissions to the ICU and 3,041 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 Oct. 6, the health system was reporting 48 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 478 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 9%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Oct. 6, the health system was reporting 27 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 351 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 10%.

Boise School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since Sept. 22: Borah High School (2 cases), Boise Online school (1), Cynthia Mann Elementary (1), Dennis Technical Education Center (1), Hawthorne Elementary (1), Hillside Junior High (2), Koelsch Elementary (1), Shadow Hills Elementary (1).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Wednesday, Health and Welfare reported that 324,328 people had been tested statewide. About 12.8% 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 12,558, Adams 27, Bannock 1,203, Bear Lake 51, Benewah 159, Bingham 1,012, Blaine 681, Boise 58, Bonner 351, Bonneville 2,530, Boundary 49, Butte 52, Camas 31, Canyon 8,030, Caribou 118, Cassia 786, Clark 33, Clearwater 74, Custer 67, Elmore 304, Franklin 176, Fremont 249, Gem 306, Gooding 296, Idaho 224, Jefferson 560, Jerome 743, Kootenai 2,892, Latah 653, Lemhi 99, Lewis 43, Lincoln 80, Madison 1,014, Minidoka 744, Nez Perce 471, Oneida 28, Owyhee 320, Payette 847, Power 265, Shoshone 216, Teton 193, Twin Falls 2,389, Valley 95, Washington 360.