Idaho records more than 1,700 new COVID-19 cases — mostly in two counties

Posted at 9:55 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 23:55:41-05

This article was originally published by Ruth Brown and Jacob Scholl in the Idaho Statesman.

Idaho recorded 1,272 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday and 468 new probable cases, for a total of 1,740 new cases reported in one day.

Ada County reported 539 new confirmed cases, bringing the countywide total to 30,562 confirmed infections, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Boise-based Central District Health’s data backlog continues to obscure what the county’s daily caseload is. Ada has added 349.1 confirmed cases per day in the past week.

Kootenai County reported 299 new confirmed cases, bringing the countywide total to 10,466 confirmed infections, according to the Panhandle Health District.

Canyon County reported 91 new confirmed cases , according to Southwest District Health. That brings the countywide total to 17,158 confirmed infections.

The state reported 15 new deaths due to COVID-19-related causes Tuesday. Canyon County reported five deaths, Bonneville County reported four deaths and Ada County reported four deaths. Bingham and Madison counties saw one additional death in each county.

Eastern Idaho Public Health also reported a Bonneville County man in his 60s died of COVID-19 on Dec. 10, but the district learned Tuesday the death was not caused by COVID-19. Bonneville County’s death toll is at 108.

Two other deaths were retracted — one each in Bannock (duplicate reporting, according to Southeastern Idaho Public Health) and Caribou (no reason provided) counties.

That brings the statewide death toll to 1,317 people.

Since the pandemic reached Idaho, a total of 110,504 infections were confirmed.

Health and Welfare also reported 22,243 probable cases and estimates that 51,996 people have recovered from the virus.

Other counties to confirm new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday include: Nez Perce (7 new, 2,677 total), Latah (20 new, 1,976 total), Clearwater (3 new, 606 total), Idaho (5 new, 799 total), Adams (2 new, 154 total), Gem (8 new, 1,048 total), Payette (9 new, 1,621 total), Washington (3 new, 729 total), Bannock (38 new, 3,630 total), Bingham (19 new, 2,206 total), Butte (4 new, 125 total), Franklin (13 new, 689 total), Power (2 new, 416 total), Bear Lake (3 new, 188 total), Shoshone (20 new, 743 total), Benewah (11 new, 333 total), Boundary (7 new, 235 total), Bonner (57 new, 1,475 total), Elmore (9 new, 950 total), Boise (2 new, 178 total), Valley (15 new, 322 total), Bonneville (37 new, 7,438 total), Fremont (1 new, 763 total), Jefferson (2 new, 1,515 total), Madison (9 new, 4,546 total), Teton (1 new, 462 total), Blaine (3 new, 1,417 total), Cassia (4 new, 2,199 total), Gooding (3 new, 823 total), Jerome (5 new, 1,735 total), Lincoln (1 new, 335 total), Minidoka (5 new, 1,723 total), Twin Falls (13 total, 6,189 total), Lemhi (2 new, 388 total)


Idaho Gov. Brad Little said during a town hall phone call that the Gem State will receive coronavirus vaccines from Moderna as early as Friday.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen later said that Idaho will receive 28,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the initial shipment this week.

Little and Jeppesen answered questions from Idaho residents during a statewide AARP telephone town hall that took place Tuesday afternoon. The governor repeated his position that restrictions like a mask mandate should come from the local level rather than the state level.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which needs to be kept at minus-80 degrees Celsius, Jeppesen said the Moderna vaccine does not require a special low-temperature freezer and can be kept in a regular freezer. He added that Idaho will continue to receive weekly shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.


Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 5,665, according to Health and Welfare.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 5,267 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 958 admissions to the ICU and 6,421 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. 21, the health system was reporting 101 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 472 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 14%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Dec. 21, the health system was reporting 92 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 428 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 24.5%.

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 (2), Capital High (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), West Junior High (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. 8-21: Centennial High (1), Eagle Academy (1), Eagle High (7), Idaho Fine Arts (1), Meridian High (7), Mountain View High (3), Renaissance High (1), Rocky Mountain High (5), Virtual School House-High (1), Crossroads Middle (1), Eagle Middle (1), Heritage Middle (3), Lake Hazel Middle (1), Lewis and Clark Middle (1), Lowell Scott Middle (1), Sawtooth Middle (3), Star Middle (1), Victory Middle (1), Barbara Morgan STEM (2), Cecil D. Andrus Elementary (1), Christine Donnell (2), Desert Sage Elementary (1), Discovery Elementary (1), Eagle Hills Elementary (1), Hunter Elementary (1), Joplin Elementary (2), Mary McPherson Elementary (1), McMillan Elementary (4), Meridian Elementary (1), Peregrine Elementary (3), Pioneer School of the Arts (1), Prospect Elementary (1), Siena Elementary (1), Star Elementary (2), Willow Creek Elementary (2).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Tuesday, Health and Welfare reported that 530,538 people had been tested statewide. About 20.8% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 30,562, Adams 154, Bannock 3,630, Bear Lake 188, Benewah 333, Bingham 2,206, Blaine 1,417, Boise 178, Bonner 1,475, Bonneville 7,438, Boundary 235, Butte 125, Camas 42, Canyon 17,158, Caribou 271, Cassia 2,199, Clark 44, Clearwater 606, Custer 157, Elmore 950, Franklin 689, Fremont 763, Gem 1,048, Gooding 823, Idaho 799, Jefferson 1,515, Jerome 1,735, Kootenai 10,466, Latah 1,976, Lemhi 388, Lewis 246, Lincoln 335, Madison 4,546, Minidoka 1,723, Nez Perce 2,677, Oneida 169, Owyhee 756, Payette 1,621, Power 416, Shoshone 743, Teton 462, Twin Falls 6,189, Valley 322, Washington 729.