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Idaho’s COVID-19 average still trending down; Walmart to start rolling out vaccines

coronavirus
Posted at 7:57 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 21:57:07-05

This article was originally published by Rachel Roberts and Audrey Dutton in the Idaho Statesman.

Idaho’s seven-day moving average of new cases of COVID-19 continues to decline.

The average hit a low of 350.4 cases per day on Tuesday — the fifth consecutive day below 400 and a level last seen in late September. Idaho’s seven-day moving average has decreased nearly 79% since a peak of 1,650.3 on Dec. 10.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the state’s seven public health districts reported a combined 289 new confirmed cases and 137 new probable cases Tuesday, for a total of 426. New coronavirus-related deaths were added in Blaine (1 new, 15 total), Canyon (1 new, 264 total), Cassia (1 new, 24 total), Minidoka (1 new, 29 total) and Nez Perce (1 new, 49 total) counties.

Health and Welfare also removed one death from Kootenai County (169 total). Idaho has lost 1,782 residents to the virus, with a case fatality rate of about 1.07%.

Six counties experienced double-digit increases in confirmed cases Tuesday: Ada (85 new, 38,655 total), Canyon (35 new, 20,525 total), Bonneville (25 new, 8,539 total), Madison (23 new, 5,297 total), Kootenai (21 new, 14,301 total), Blaine (14 new, 1,887 total) and Twin Falls (11 new, 6,897 total).

The other counties adding new confirmed cases were Bannock (8 new, 4,500 total), Bingham (2 new, 2,502 total), Bonner (8 new, 2,309 total), Boundary (7 new, 365 total), Butte (4 new, 153 total), Cassia (3 new, 2,413 total), Elmore (4 new, 1,198 total), Franklin (5 new, 829 total), Gem (5 new, 1,316 total), Gooding (1 new, 900 total), Idaho (1 new, 872 total), Jefferson (7 new, 1,721 total), Latah (7 new, 2,449 total), Lemhi (1 new, 395 total), Lincoln (1 new, 369 total), Owyhee (5 new, 864 total), Shoshone (1 new, 922 total), Teton (3 new, 602 total), Valley (2 new, 626 total) and Washington (1 new, 841 total).

South Central Public Health District removed one case from Jerome County (1,940 total). Cases are sometimes removed when an investigation determines an individual’s residence is in another county, health district or state.

Since the pandemic reached Idaho, there have been 135,228 confirmed cases overall, plus 30,977 probable cases. Health and Welfare estimates 87,505 of those cases have recovered.

Meanwhile, Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has picked up steam. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said Tuesday that 91% of the first doses shipped to Idaho have been administered, and 41% of booster doses have been administered. (The booster doses are given two or three weeks after the first dose, depending on which brand of vaccine is used.)

Jeppesen said that Idahoans have been diligent about returning for their booster shot, with the rate of patients getting their second dose on time being in the “high 90%.”

WALMART ANNOUNCES IDAHO VACCINE LOCATIONS

Ten Walmart pharmacies in Idaho will start administering COVID-19 vaccines beginning Friday.

Eligible customers can schedule a vaccine appointment online at Walmart.com/covidvaccine once they are available. Vaccines will be offered to those who meet the current phase of eligibility in Idaho, which can be found at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccination.

Vaccinations will be available at the following locations:

  • Walmart #1900: 385 N. Overland Ave., Burley
  • Walmart #2780: 5108 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell
  • Walmart #1995: 4240 Yellowstone Ave., Chubbuck
  • Walmart #2831: 2680 S. Lincoln Ave., Jerome
  • Walmart #5869: 2470 West Pullman Road 2, Moscow
  • Walmart #2782: 2745 American Legion Blvd., Mountain Home
  • Walmart #3739: 5875 E. Franklin Road, Nampa
  • Walmart #1878: 1450 North 2nd East, Rexburg
  • Walmart #4249: 583 Commerce Drive, Smelterville
  • Walmart #3897: 252 Cheney Dr. W., Twin Falls

The retail chain is one of the two companies Idaho has designated for a new federal program, which will send them doses of vaccines to administer through their pharmacies. Those doses will be in addition to the vaccine allocations being shipped to Idaho each week.

The other chain, Albertsons, hasn’t announced specific locations for the new program, but it has already been administering COVID-19 vaccines at Idaho stores and its Sav-On pharmacies. Visit mhealthappointments.com/covidappt to check for vaccine availability at Albertsons.

STATE TO BEGIN COLLECTING RACE AND ETHNICITY DATA

The head of Idaho’s immunization program said Tuesday that the state’s Immunization Reminder Information System (IRIS) will begin to allow health care providers and vaccinators to record the race and ethnicity of a person receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The data collection will be voluntary. A person’s decision to provide race or ethnicity details will not affect their eligibility for the vaccine.

The state expects the data to start rolling in over the weekend and early next week.

Idaho has not been gathering race or ethnicity data for people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Health officials earlier said they were legally barred from doing so, but then corrected themselves, saying that they could — but IRIS needed to be modified.

One of the primary goals of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is to ensure equity, so that every group of people has access to the vaccine. Data can show disparities in coronavirus vaccinations between white people and people of color, who have been disproportionately sickened and killed by the pandemic.

There is a data deficit on race and ethnicity, though. The federal government lacked those demographic details for nearly half of COVID-19 vaccine recipients as of Tuesday.

DAILY DETAILS

Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 195,534, according to Health and Welfare. Of those, 116,094 people have received only their first dose.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 6,839 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,194 admissions to the ICU and 9,131 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 Feb. 8, the health system was reporting 28 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 410 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 7%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Feb. 8, the health system was reporting 43 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 362 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 10.1%.

Testing totals: Health and Welfare reported that 616,857 people had been tested statewide. About 21.9% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

Boise School District: Reported positive cases since Feb. 2: Boise High (1), Borah High (3), Capital High (3), Fairmont Junior High (2), Hidden Springs Elementary (1), Hillside Elementary (1), Horizon Elementary (1), Les Bois Junior High (1), Liberty Elementary (1), Riverside Elementary (1), Trail Wind Elementary (3).

West Ada School District: Reported cases from Jan. 26-Feb. 8: Centennial High (2), Eagle Academy (1), Eagle High (3), Mountain View High (1), Eagle Middle (2), Heritage Middle (2), Lake Hazel Middle (2), Lewis and Clark Middle (1), Meridian Middle (1), Sawtooth Middle (2), Star Middle (1), Victory Middle (1), Desert Sage Elementary (3), Discovery Elementary (2), Hillsdale Elementary (1), River Valley Elementary (1), Seven Oaks Elementary (2), Siena Elementary (1).

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 38,655, Adams 246, Bannock 4,500, Bear Lake 241, Benewah 417, Bingham 2,502, Blaine 1,887, Boise 224, Bonner 2,309, Bonneville 8,539, Boundary 365, Butte 153, Camas 52, Canyon 20,525, Caribou 327, Cassia 2,413, Clark 44, Clearwater 744, Custer 175, Elmore 1,198, Franklin 829, Fremont 856, Gem 1,316, Gooding 900, Idaho 872, Jefferson 1,721, Jerome 1,940, Kootenai 14,301, Latah 2,449, Lemhi 395, Lewis 275, Lincoln 369, Madison 5,297, Minidoka 1,881, Nez Perce 3,021, Oneida 212, Owyhee 864, Payette 1,870, Power 455, Shoshone 923, Teton 602, Twin Falls 6,897, Valley 626, Washington 841.