Idaho reports 300 COVID-19 cases Sunday after several days of numbers exceeding 1,000

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Posted at 7:24 PM, Jan 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-03 21:26:22-05

This article was originally written by Nicole Blanchard for the Idaho Statesman.

Idaho reported an unusually low number of COVID-19 cases on Sunday and no new deaths following several days of new case reports in excess of 1,000 and a string of death reports in the double digits.

Health officials on Sunday reported 254 confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide, the lowest number of confirmed cases in a single day since Oct. 4 when 223 new cases were reported. Officials also noted 46 new probable cases, bringing Sunday’s case tally to 300.

The sharp decline in cases comes after four days of reports exceeding 1,000 new cases per day. It’s not clear what role, if any, recent holidays may have had on the case reports or testing. (Neither the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare nor the state’s local health districts reported cases on New Year’s Day.)

For several days following Christmas, case numbers dipped below 1,000 reported cases per day before appearing to increase by the middle of last week. Throughout the pandemic, Idaho has regularly reported lower case numbers on Sundays, as only one of the state’s seven health districts reports its own data, and some other health districts don’t appear to provide data to state Health and Welfare.

Officials also reported no new COVID-19-related deaths Sunday. In the last five days, at least a dozen new deaths have been reported statewide each day. To date, 1,450 Idahoans have died of COVID-19.

Ada County, which lately has reported the bulk of each day’s new COVID-19 cases as Central District Health tries to work through a backlogged caseload, reported only 30 new confirmed cases Sunday. It’s the lowest number of daily confirmed cases in the county since officials reported 29 confirmed cases on Sept. 22. It’s not clear whether Central District Health is still backlogged on Ada County cases — the district’s data dashboard, which was last updated on Thursday, showed 238 lab reports pending processing.

Canyon County reported the most new confirmed cases on Sunday with 90. To date, 18,119 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canyon County.

Health and Welfare removed three COVID-19 cases from its tally in Clearwater County, bringing the county’s total down to 625.

Since March, 117,953 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Idaho, along with 24,609 probable cases.

The following Idaho counties also reported new COVID-19 cases on Sunday: Adams (2 new, 205 total), Bannock (7 new, 3,905 total), Bear Lake (2 new, 210 total), Blaine (1 new, 1,451 total), Boise (1 new, 189 total), Bonner (11 new, 1,669 total), Bonneville (28 new, 7,764 total), Cassia (1 new, 2,269 total), Elmore (7 new, 1,039 total), Franklin (1 new, 727 total), Fremont (5 new, 784 total), Gem (6 new, 1,123 total), Jefferson (4 new, 1,575 total), Kootenai (27 new, 11,523 total), Madison (11 new, 4,675 total), Minidoka (1 new, 1,774 total), Owyhee (4 new, 796 total), Payette (4 new, 1,708 total), Shoshone (6 new, 804 total), Valley (6 new, 401 total) and Washington (2 new, 765 total).

St. Luke’s Magical Valley Medical Center announced over the weekend that it would resume admitting child patients, which it hasn’t done regularly since late October, according to the Times-News.

The hospital had been sending children needing care to its Boise-area hospitals as it became overloaded with COVID-19 patients. Hospital officials said the number of COVID-19 patients has declined dramatically in recent weeks, but has still not reached ideal levels. Officials are also bracing to a possible surge in patients following the holidays.

Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 19,119 according to Health and Welfare.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 5,706 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,030 admissions to the ICU and 7,147 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 Jan. 2, the health system was reporting 63 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 422 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 14%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Jan. 2, the health system was reporting 73 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 281 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 23.3%.

Testing totals: At the end of the day Sunday, Health and Welfare reported that 549,099 people had been tested statewide. About 21.4% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 33,559, Adams 205, Bannock 3,905, Bear Lake 210, Benewah 349, Bingham 2,289, Blaine 1,451, Boise 189, Bonner 1,669, Bonneville 7,764, Boundary 270, Butte 136, Camas 42, Canyon 18,119, Caribou 286, Cassia 2,269, Clark 44, Clearwater 625, Custer 163, Elmore 1,039, Franklin 727, Fremont 784, Gem 1,117, Gooding 848, Idaho 815, Jefferson 1,575, Jerome 1,795, Kootenai 11,523, Latah 2,034, Lemhi 391, Lewis 252, Lincoln 342, Madison 4,675, Minidoka 1,774, Nez Perce 2,792, Oneida 178, Owyhee 796, Payette 1,708, Power 422, Shoshone 804, Teton 486, Twin Falls 6,360, Valley 401, Washington 765.