Idaho reports record COVID-19 hospitalizations as daily case rate average nears 900

Posted at 3:27 PM, Oct 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-25 17:27:40-04

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

Idaho health officials reported a record high number of patients hospitalized with coronavirus infections this week, according to data updated on Friday. That comes as the state reported a record-breaking seven-day moving average for daily case rates on Saturday.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s coronavirus data dashboard, 259 people were hospitalized on Wednesday with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. That broke the previous day’s record of 251 hospitalizations. The record before that was set on Aug. 3, when 242 people were hospitalized with the virus.

The hospital data comes as multiple Idaho hospitals have said they are approaching capacity. The same day Idaho set its hospitalization record, the Statesman reported that one in four patients at St. Luke’s Magic Valley hospital were COVID-19 patients. The hospital said Friday that it would divert children who need to be admitted to Boise in an effort to free up resources and medical staff.

Across the state, health officials reported 738 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 187 probable cases on Saturday, for a total of 925. That brought the state’s seven-day moving average higher than ever, to 872 over the past week. Idaho has broken its seven-day moving average record numerous times in the past month, and on Friday the state reported 1,111 confirmed and probable cases — yet another record.

Thirty-six of Idaho’s 44 counties reported new cases on Saturday, according to state and local health district data. Ada County reported 154 new cases, the highest of any county. Since March, Ada County has had 14,328 cases. Kootenai County in North Idaho was the only other county to report triple-digit numbers Saturday. It added 108 new cases for a total of 3,710.

Kootenai set its record Friday when it added 112 cases. That came one day after Panhandle Health District board members voted 4-3 to rescind a mask mandate for the county.

Several counties reported double-digit cases Saturday. In the Treasure Valley, Canyon County reported 76, bringing its total to 9,060 cases. Eastern Idaho hot spots Bonneville and Madison counties saw their numbers climb: Bonneville County, home to Idaho Falls, added 56 cases (3,446 total), while Madison County, home to Rexburg, added 72 (2,111 total). In south-central Idaho, rural Cassia County reported 47 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing its pandemic total to 1,211. Twin Falls County added 60 new cases (3,347).

The following counties also reported new cases Saturday: Adams (4 new, 46 total), Bannock (34 new, 1,670 total), Benewah (1 new, 167 total), Bingham (15 new, 1,233 total), Blaine (6 new, 818 total), Bonner (8 new, 422 total), Boundary (2 new, 66 total), Butte (1 new, 81 total), Camas (1 new, 34 total), Caribou (4 new, 199 total), Elmore (1 new, 370 total), Franklin (8 new, 287 total), Fremont (7 new, 426 total), Gem (3 new, 358 total), Gooding (10 new, 427 total), Jefferson (8 (new, 769 total), Jerome (8 new, 905 total), Latah (1 new, 858 total), Lewis (1 new, 72 total), Lincoln (2 new, 137 total), Minidoka (13 new, 1,050 total), Nez Perce (5 new, 708 total), Oneida (1 new, 45 total), Owyhee (2 new, 352 total), Payette (5 new, 966 total), Power (1 new, 305 total), Shoshone (6 new, 255 total), Teton (3 new, 252 total) and Washington (4 new, 401 total).

No health districts reported new deaths on Saturday. To date, 569 Idahoans have died from COVID-19.

Idaho has reported a total of 6,958 probable and 51,851 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare estimates that 27,760 have recovered from the virus.


Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 2,409 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 530 admissions to the ICU and 3,666 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. 23, the health system was reporting 77 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 465 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 13%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Oct. 23, the health system was reporting 46 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 349 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 11.65%.

Boise School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since Oct. 20: Amity Elementary (1), Boise Online School (2), Fairmont Junior High (1), Roosevelt Elementary (1), Timberline High School (1) and Whittier Elementary (1).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Friday, Health and Welfare reported that 368,569 people had been tested statewide. About 14% 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 14,328, Adams 46, Bannock 1,670, Bear Lake 62, Benewah 167, Bingham 1,233, Blaine 818, Boise 60, Bonner 422, Bonneville 3,446, Boundary 66, Butte 81, Camas 34, Canyon 9,060, Caribou 199, Cassia 1,211, Clark 33, Clearwater 114, Custer 83, Elmore 370, Franklin 287, Fremont 426, Gem 358, Gooding 427, Idaho 324, Jefferson 769, Jerome 905, Kootenai 3,710, Latah 858, Lemhi 177, Lewis 72, Lincoln 137, Madison 2,111, Minidoka 1,050, Nez Perce 708, Oneida 45, Owyhee 352, Payette 966, Power 305, Shoshone 255, Teton 252, Twin Falls 3,347, Valley 106, Washington 401.