Idaho reaches unfortunate milestone: 2,000 COVID-19 deaths. Variants found in Twin Falls

Posted at 8:58 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 22:58:30-04

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

The first coronavirus-related death was announced in Idaho on March 26, 2020. A little more than a year later, Idaho has now lost 2,000 residents to the virus.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare added five deaths to the state’s total on Tuesday to reach the milestone. Idaho’s case fatality rate is about 1.09%.

The latest deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Ada (2 new, 453 total), Bannock (1 new, 102 total), Bingham (1 new, 71 total) and Canyon (1 new, 290 total) counties. According to updated demographics from Health and Welfare, all five individuals were 80 or older.

More than half of all COVID-19 deaths in Idaho have been individuals 80 or older (1,017), and long-term care residents make up nearly 40% of the state’s deaths, at 783. Individuals in their 70s account for 577 deaths, while 272 have died in their 60s and 83 in their 50s. Five people between the ages of 18 and 29 have died, 10 in their 30s and 35 in their 40s.

Health and Welfare has racial demographics for all but five of the state’s 2,000 deaths, and that breaks down as follows: white (1,881), other/multiple races (41), American Indian/Alaska native (40), Asian (19) and Black/African American (9). Hispanic individuals account for 199 deaths.

There were just 219 new cases of COVID-19 reported statewide Tuesday, increasing the state’s total to 183,910 cases. Health and Welfare estimates that 103,365 of those cases have recovered.

The counties adding new cases were Ada (73 new, 50,296 total), Bannock (13 new, 8,549 total), Benewah (1 new, 659 total), Bingham (9 new, 4,759 total), Blaine (8 new, 2,323 total), Boise (1 new, 334 total), Bonner (11 new, 3,154 total), Bonneville (29 new, 14,522 total), Boundary (1 new, 852 total), Canyon (32 new, 25,970 total), Elmore (17 new, 1,865 total), Franklin (1 new, 1,165 total), Fremont (5 new, 1,112 total), Jefferson (3 new, 2,923 total), Latah (6 new, 2,993 total), Lincoln (1 new, 497 total), Madison (10 new, 7,075 total), Nez Perce (3 new, 3,520 total), Owyhee (1 new, 1,045 total), Payette (6 new, 2,484 total), Teton (2 new, 1,187 total), Washington (1 new, 1,205 total).

Health and Welfare removed cases from Caribou (-1 new, 677 total), Kootenai (-11 new, 17,376 total), Minidoka (-2 new, 2,315 total) and Twin Falls (-1 new, 9,262 total) counties. The Idaho Statesman reached out to Health and Welfare for further explanation on why these cases were removed. It is not unusual for cases to be removed based on the timing of reporting or information learned while conducting an investigation, although 11 at once is atypical.


Two COVID-19 variants have been confirmed by a laboratory in Twin Falls County, South Central Public Health District announced Tuesday.

There were two confirmed cases of the California variant (B.1.429) identified and four cases of the UK variant (B.1.1.7). Twin Falls County includes Twin Falls, Filer, Hansen, Castleford, Buhl, Kimberly, Murtaugh and Hollister.

These latest variants are in addition to the 16 COVID-19 variant cases confirmed in Blaine County and announced on April 2.

“COVID-19 variants are reported to spread more quickly, especially the UK variant. Currently, the CDC reports this strain makes up more than a quarter of the cases across the United States and is the most common COVID-19 strain circulating in the country,” SCPHD said in a news release.

“In a press briefing April 7, the CDC warned this variant is more transmissible among younger people, spreading especially quickly among youth sports groups and in daycare centers.”

South Central said it has seen COVID-19 cases in its region nearly double since the end of March. There were 78 cases reported March 21-27 and 150 cases reported April 4-10.


Crush the Curve Idaho is sponsoring another youth essay contest, this time focusing on COVID-19 vaccination.

Submissions are due by midnight on Monday, May 10. Cash prizes are awarded for the winner in each age group, which includes kindergarten through second grade, grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12. To learn more about the specific topics for each age group, or to submit your entry, visit

Essays will be reviewed by members of the Crush the Curve Idaho board and sponsorship partners. Winners will be announced Friday, May 21.

Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 886,210, according to Health and Welfare. Of those, 372,534 people have been fully vaccinated. Idaho has seen 133 vaccine breakthrough cases.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 7,757 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,324 admissions to the ICU and 10,224 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 April 12, the health system was reporting 29 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 414 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 5%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of April 12, the health system was reporting 28 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 386 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 10.9%.

Boise School District: Reported confirmed cases from March 30-April 12: Amity Elementary (2), Boise High (9), Borah High (1), Capital High (4), Collister Elementary (1), East Jr. High (1), Fairmont Jr. High (3), Hillside Jr. High (2), Liberty Elementary (1), Lowell Elementary (1), Mountain View Elementary (1), North Jr. High (1), Pierce Park Elementary (1), Riverglen Jr. High (3), South Jr. High (3), Timberline High (6), Washington Elementary (1), West Jr. High (2), White Pine Elementary (2), Whitney Elementary (1).

West Ada School District: Reported confirmed cases for March 29-April 11: Centennial High (1), Eagle High (7), Mountain View High (4), Rocky Mountain High (1), Lake Hazel Middle (1), Star Middle (1), Victory Middle (1), Cecil D. Andrus Elementary (1), Chaparral Elementary (5), Eagle Hills Elementary (2), Pioneer School of the Arts (1), Siena Elementary (2), Star Elementary (1).

Total COVID-19 cases by county (confirmed + probable): Ada 50,296, Adams 333, Bannock 8,549, Bear Lake 373, Benewah 659, Bingham 4,759, Blaine 2,323, Boise 334, Bonner 3,154, Bonneville 14,522, Boundary 852, Butte 206, Camas 71, Canyon 25,970, Caribou 677, Cassia 2,918, Clark 59, Clearwater 1,033, Custer 243, Elmore 1,865, Franklin 1,165, Fremont 1,112, Gem 1,740, Gooding 1,294, Idaho 1,177, Jefferson 2,923, Jerome 2,552, Kootenai 17,376, Latah 2,993, Lemhi 519, Lewis 385, Lincoln 497, Madison 7,075, Minidoka 2,315, Nez Perce 3,520, Oneida 352, Owyhee 1,045, Payette 2,484, Power 651, Shoshone 1,058, Teton 1,187, Twin Falls 9,262, Valley 827, Washington 1,205.