Idaho sets yet another coronavirus record, and Ada County has worst day since July 22

Posted at 7:55 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 21:55:44-04

This article was originally published by Ruth Brown and Nicole Foy in the Idaho Statesman.

Ada County reported 231 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Thursday, according to Central District Health — the largest number in one day since July 22, when it recorded 243, and a big reason why Idaho hit a record high for the second time this week.

Statewide, there were 777 confirmed cases and 197 probables recorded Thursday, for a total of 974 — the most in a single day so far. It breaks the record set Tuesday, when there were 940 combined cases. The total on Wednesday was 905, which now ranks as the third-highest daily figure.

This week’s soaring totals have pushed the state past 50,000 confirmed cases, to 50,154, since the pandemic reached Idaho last winter. Idaho updates its testing positivity rate on Thursdays, and for the week of Oct. 11-17, that rate was at 12.2% — the fifth straight week it has increased.

Ada County, which added 43 probable cases Thursday, tops the state with 14,024 cases. Canyon County reported 89 new confirmed cases Thursday, according to Southwest District Health, bringing its total to 8,889, second-highest in the state.

Nine Idahoans were added to the COVID-19-related death toll on the day. Canyon, Madison, Gem, Ada and Twin Falls counties each reported one death, while Bonneville and Gooding counties added two apiece. The statewide death count stands at 561.

The deaths in Bonneville County were a man and a woman who were both in their 80s, and the death in Madison County was a woman in her 80s, according to local health districts. Ages and genders for the other fatalities were not released.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare now reports 6,619 probable cases in the state, and 27,221 people are presumed to have recovered from the virus.

The state also reported 57 new coronavirus infections in health care workers, bringing that total to 3,582 since the pandemic began.

Other counties to report new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday include: Latah 14 (835 total), Nez Perce 34 (669 total), Idaho 7 (309 total), Clearwater 2 (112 total), Lewis 1 (71 total), Bannock 19 (1,567 total), Bingham 8 (1,200 total), Butte 4 (79 total), Caribou 4 (188 total), Franklin 7 (275 total), Oneida 1 (39 total), Power 6 (304 total), Gem 4 (351 total), Owyhee 3 (346 total), Payette 7 (955 total), Washington 2 (395 total), Benewah 1 (165 total), Bonner 2 (408 total), Boundary 1 (63 total), Shoshone 4 (241 total), Elmore 11 (364 total), Bonneville 62 (3,333 total), Fremont 7 (358 total), Jefferson 22 (748 total), Lemhi 2 (170 total), Madison 21 (1,951 total), Teton 5 (249 total), Twin Falls 99 (3,231 total), Cassia 9 (1,121 total), Minidoka 12 (1,022 total), Jerome 10 (890 total), Blaine 3 (804 total), Gooding 12 (410 total), Lincoln 7 (125 total).


Ignoring hours of testimony from Kootenai Health medical professionals, who warned that local hospitals were operating at 99% capacity and advocated for widespread precautions, the Panhandle Health District Board of Health voted 4-3 to rescind Kootenai County’s mask mandate Thursday.

Before the vote, some commissioners voiced doubt about the efficacy of masks and even questioned whether the virus was actually causing the surge in hospitalizations. Both Kootenai County representatives, including registered nurse Jai Nelson and Dr. Richard McLandress, voted to retain the mandate.

Kootenai County reported 44 new confirmed cases Thursday; its total since the start of the virus is now 3,490.

On Tuesday, Kootenai County recorded the county’s largest number of new cases in one day — 104 — according to Health and Welfare.


Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 2,363 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 524 admissions to the ICU and 3,582 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. 21, the health system was reporting 73 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 507 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 12%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Oct. 21, the health system was reporting 52 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 367 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 14.5%.

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).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Thursday, Health and Welfare reported that 363,048 people had been tested statewide. About 13.8% 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 14,024, Adams 30, Bannock 1,567, Bear Lake 62, Benewah 165, Bingham 1,200, Blaine 804, Boise 60, Bonner 408, Bonneville 3,333, Boundary 63, Butte 79, Camas 33, Canyon 8,889, Caribou 188, Cassia 1,121, Clark 33, Clearwater 112, Custer 83, Elmore 364, Franklin 275, Fremont 358, Gem 351, Gooding 410, Idaho 309, Jefferson 748, Jerome 890, Kootenai 3,490, Latah 835, Lemhi 169, Lewis 71, Lincoln 125, Madison 1,951, Minidoka 1,022, Nez Perce 669, Oneida 39, Owyhee 346, Payette 955, Power 304, Shoshone 241, Teton 249, Twin Falls 3,231, Valley 102, Washington 395.