Idaho sets record with more than 1,300 new confirmed coronavirus cases, adds 20 deaths

Posted at 8:02 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 22:02:41-05

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

The state reported 1,336 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Monday, yet another daily record as Thanksgiving week begins with the pandemic raging in Idaho.

Health districts also reported 190 new probable cases, for a total of 1,526 in one day.

Ada County reported 239 new confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the countywide total to 20,654 people infected, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Canyon County reported 223 new confirmed cases, bringing the countywide total to 12,789 people infected, according to Southwest District Health.

Clearwater County reported 100 new confirmed cases on Monday, a huge leap in reports overnight, bringing its countywide total to 426, according to North Central Public Health District. The entire population of Clearwater County is only a little over 8,700 people.

Twenty new COVID-19-related deaths were reported on Monday, bringing the statewide death toll to 868. Twin Falls County reported seven deaths, Ada County reported five, Kootenai County three and Nez Perce County two. Payette, Idaho and Boundary counties each recorded one new death.

The state reported that there have been 13,680 probable cases of the virus as of Monday, and estimated that 38,397 people have recovered. Since the pandemic reached Idaho, a total of 79,642 confirmed cases have been documented, according to Health and Welfare.

In its weekly update provided Monday, Health and Welfare reported confirming 500 cases of coronavirus in K-12 schools statewide between Nov. 16-22. That’s up fromthe recorded 485 confirmed casesbetween Nov. 7- 13.

Other counties to report new confirmed cases of the virus on Monday include: Nez Perce 82 (1,914 total), Latah 56 (1,555 total), Idaho 52(654 total), Clearwater 100 (426 total), Lewis 8 (164 total), Bannock 50 (2,539 total), Bear Lake 3 (142 total), Bingham 13 (1,711 total), Franklin 9 (480 total), Oneida 3 (101 total), Power 1 (363 total), Adams 3 (78 total), Gem 24 (636 total), Owyhee 14 (539 total), Payette 22 (1,284 total), Washington 17 (582 total), Kootenai 90 (6,166 total), Bonner 10 (757 total), Shoshone 4 (453 total), Boise 2 (98 total), Elmore 18 (608 total), Valley 9 (183 total), Blaine 5 (1,128 total), Cassia 36 (1,872 total), Gooding 8 (664 total), Jerome 16 (1,507 total), Lincoln 2 (278 total), Minidoka 37 (1,526 total), Twin Falls 51 (5,381 total), Bonneville 43 (5,451 total), Custer 3 (124 total), Fremont 11 (618 total), Jefferson 13 (1,137 total), Lemhi 1 (370 total), Madison 53 (3,475 total), Teton 5 (399 total).


On Friday, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office reported that 308 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic reached Idaho.

Since the first confirmed test in late July, 290 of those 308 inmates who have tested positive have made it through the quarantine period and no longer need COVID-19 precautions inside the jail, or have been released, according to the sheriff’s blog.

The first positive test occurred on July 28 when a female inmate complained about a loss of taste and smell. The inmate was tested immediately, and the results came back the next day as positive for COVID-19.

The staff has performed a total of 2,523 COVID-19 tests on inmates since the beginning of the pandemic.

Every inmate in the jail has now been provided with face coverings, which they are supposed to wear at all times unless they are in their bunks, according to the Sheriff’s Office.


The Boise Rescue Mission will temporarily close the Nampa Lighthouse men’s shelter because a number of staff members are out after contracting COVID-19, according to a news release from the rescue mission.

The Rev. Bill Roscoe said in the release that the organization cannot adequately staff both the shelters in Boise and Nampa, and the Lighthouse was closed because it was serving a smaller number of people.

Anyone arriving at the Nampa building looking for shelter will be taken to the River of Life Rescue Mission in Boise. The Lighthouse facility will be closed until Jan. 1, and reopening will be contingent on adequate staffing for the Nampa and Boise facilities, according to Roscoe. The Nampa shelter will be occupied for security reasons in the meantime.


Members of the Idaho National Guard are at Primary Health Medical Group clinics around the Treasure Valley as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Guard members will aid in screening and testing those who may have the coronavirus, according to a news release from Primary Health. The citizen soldiers and airmen were dispatched around Idaho following Gov. Brad Little’s signing of an executive order activating 100 Guard members to help health care providers.

Some members of the Guard received training from Saint Alphonsus to help clinics in Idaho.


From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Expo Idaho small animal barn — located at 5610 N Glenwood St. in Garden City — the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will distribute Thanksgiving boxes to those in need.

Over 2,000 people have signed up for the boxes as of Monday, though the food pantry expects the demand to be larger than the event last year because of the hardships brought on by the coronavirus. Last year over 12,000 people were served by the food pantry. Food boxes will be available in a drive-thru format, as boxes can be placed in trunks of cars.


Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 3,682 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 689 admissions to the ICU and 4,849 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 Nov. 22, the health system was reporting 141 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 23%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Nov. 22, the health system was reporting 75 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 283 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 26.1%.

Boise School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since Nov. 17: Amity Elementary (1), Boise High (4), Borah High (5), Capital High (2), Collister Elementary (1), District Services (3), Fairmont Junior High (1), Frank Church High (1), Grace Jordan Elementary (2), Hidden Springs Elementary (1), Highlands Elementary (1), Hillcrest Elementary (3), Hillside Junior High (2), Les Bois Junior High (4), Liberty Elementary (2), Madison Early Childhood Education Center (1), Maple Grove Elementary (1), Morley Nelson Elementary (1), North Junior High (1), Roosevelt Elementary (1), South Junior High (3), Taft Elementary (2), Timberline High (5), Trail Wind Elementary (1), Valley View Elementary (1), Washington Elementary (1), Whittier Elementary (2).

West Ada School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff for the weeks of Nov. 9 through Nov. 22: Centennial High (7), Central Academy (2), Eagle Academy (4), Eagle High (35), Idaho Fine Arts (1), Meridian Academy (2), Meridian High (16), Mountain View High (30), Renaissance High (9), Rocky Mountain High (25), Virtual High School (1), Crossroads Middle (3), Eagle Middle (3), Heritage Middle (7), Lake Hazel Middle (3), Lewis and Clark Middle (4), Lowell Scott Middle (11), Meridian Middle (5), Pathways Middle (1), Sawtooth Middle (7), Star Middle (11), Victory Middle (5), Virtual Middle (1), Barbara Morgan STEM (2), Cecil D. Andrus Elementary (3), Chaparral Elementary (1), Chief Joseph School of the Arts (2), Christine Donnell (3), Desert Sage Elementary (2), Discovery Elementary (3), Eagle Elementary School of the Arts (3), Eliza Hart Spalding STEM (3), Frontier Elementary (2), Hillsdale Elementary (3), Hunter Elementary (4), Joplin Elementary (1), Lake Hazel Elementary (5), Mary McPherson (4), McMillan Elementary (2), Meridian Elementary (6), Peregrine Elementary (2), Pleasant View Elementary (1), Ponderosa Elementary (2), Prospect Elementary (2), River Valley Elementary (5), Seven Oaks Elementary (3), Siena Elementary (1), Silver Sage Elementary (1), Star Elementary (2), Summerwind STEM Academy (1), Ustick Elementary (6).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Saturday, Health and Welfare reported that 457,108 people had been tested statewide. About 17.4% 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 20,654, Adams 78, Bannock 2,539, Bear Lake 142, Benewah 246, Bingham 1,711, Blaine 1,128, Boise 98, Bonner 757, Bonneville 5,451, Boundary 149, Butte 102, Camas 40, Canyon 12,789, Caribou 259, Cassia 1,872, Clark 40, Clearwater 426, Custer 124, Elmore 608, Franklin 480, Fremont 618, Gem 636, Gooding 664, Idaho 654, Jefferson 1,137, Jerome 1,507, Kootenai 6,166, Latah 1,555, Lemhi 370, Lewis 164, Lincoln 278, Madison 3,475, Minidoka 1,526, Nez Perce 1,914, Oneida 101, Owyhee 539, Payette 1,284, Power 363, Shoshone 453, Teton 399, Twin Falls 5,381, Valley 183, Washington 582.