Idaho’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, statewide positivity rate break records again

Posted at 3:30 PM, Nov 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-28 17:30:45-05

This article was originally written by Nicole Foy, Jacob Scholl and Rachel Roberts for the Idaho Statesman.

Updated Idaho positivity rates and hospitalization numbers reported by state health officials Friday show Idaho again broke records in both areas.

Idaho’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rate was 19.4% last week, up from 18.2%, and the number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus increased to 470. As of Wednesday, 92 of those patients were in the ICU, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The state’s seven health districts reported 1,764 new confirmed coronavirus cases Friday, reflecting combined Thursday and Friday numbers as no health districts posted updates on Thanksgiving. An additional 324 new probable cases brings Friday’s total new cases to 2,088. The South Central Public Health District based in Twin Falls had not posted a Friday update by the time of publication.

Idaho also reported 14 new deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday, including three in Bonneville County (62 total), two in Ada County (238 total), two in Nez Perce County (32 total) and one each in Bannock (30 total), Fremont (10 total), Madison (8 total), Lewis (4 total), Latah (3 total), Washington (11 total) and Boundary (3 total) counties.

As of Friday, 915 Idahoans have lost their lives to COVID-19. A total of 84,176 Idahoans have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 530 new cases for Ada County (21,731 total) on Friday and Southwest District Health reported 419 new confirmed cases in Canyon County (13,698 total).

Other areas across the state reported high numbers Friday, including Kootenai (195 new, 6,706 total), Bonneville (57 new, 5,651 total), Madison (51 new, 3,638 total) and Bannock (48 new, 2,685 total).

Other counties reporting new COVID-19 cases Friday included Adams (4 new, 84 total), Bear Lake (1 new, 148 total), Benewah (1 new, 261 total), Bingham (32 new, 1,806 total), Blaine (17 new, 1,190 total), Boise (5 new, 105 total), Bonner (21 new, 843 total, Boundary (6 new, 159 total), Caribou (1 less, 261 total), Cassia (29 new, 1,962 total), Clearwater (9 new, 475 total), Custer (2 new, 130 total), Elmore (16 new 647 total), Franklin (13 new, 517 total), Fremont (3 new, 644 total), Gem (55 new, 757 total), Gooding (6 new 689 total), Idaho (13 new, 684 total), Jefferson (8 new, 1,169 total), Jerome (14 new, 1,556 total), Latah (19 new, 1,605 total), Lewis (2 new, 174 total), Lincoln (2 new, 284 total), Minidoka (23 new, 1,580 total), Nez Perce (29 new, 2,064 total), Oneida (2 new, 107 total), Owyhee (25 new, 606 total), Payette (32 new, 1,359 total), Power (3 new, 370 total), Shoshone (20 new, 486 total), Teton (3 new, 408 total), Twin Falls (33 new, 5,558 total), Valley (6 new, 197 total), Washington (11 new, 628 total).


During an interview Wednesday with CNN anchor Brianna Keilar, Primary Health Medical Group CEO Dr. David Peterman said around 50 staff members were absent from work after testing positive for COVID-19 or needing to quarantine.

Peterman said that the lack of staff has forced the closure of some facilities. In an email Friday, Primary Health spokesperson Chryssa Rich said those seeking medical attention at a Primary Health facility should call ahead to ensure the desired service is still available.

Peterman also told Keilar that Primary Health clinics are booked out days in advance for COVID-19 testing. Rich said Friday that Primary Health clinics often fill their schedules, and time openings fluctuate. Those in need of a test should not be discouraged, and should call their local clinic to check for testing times.

Nearly one in three people tested at Primary Health clinics in the Treasure Valley come back positive, according to the health group’s CEO. Peterman added that 10 members of the Idaho National Guard were sent to Primary Health clinics to help assist health care workers.

For the latest up-to-date information on testing sites, go to for details. To locate a Primary Health clinic near you, go to


In order to comply with Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s order restricting gathering sizes to 10 people or less, the Southwest District Health Board will no longer allow in-person public comments at meetings.

Board members may attend meetings in-person or remotely, as members of the board and SWDH staff may attend the meetings in-person if they choose to do so. Face coverings or masks will be required when physical distancing cannot be maintained, according to a news release from the health district.

Written comments can still be submitted to the board, and should be submitted 24 hours in advance of a board meeting to allow for board member review. Comments can be submitted via a Survey Monkey link included on the board’s agenda, or comments can be mailed to the board using the following address: SWDH Board of Health, Attn: Administration Office, 13307 Miami Lane, Caldwell, ID, 83607.

The board’s next meeting is slated for 10 a.m. Dec. 15.


Idaho businessman and co-founder of Crush the Curve Tommy Ahlquist is recovering after he and his family were sickened by the coronavirus.

Ahlquist — a former emergency room doctor — said he and others in his family caught the virus but are recovering. Last week he tweeted that he was feeling better after dealing with COVID-19 for several days.

“The headaches, myalgias and fatigue are like nothing else I’ve experienced,” Ahlquist tweeted. He told KIVI News that he’s never encountered an illness like COVID-19, but he has “never, ever, ever felt this ill.”


The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare released its weekly update on COVID-19 in care facilities Friday.

Outbreaks at Idaho facilities increased by 10 to 272 overall, total individual cases jumped by 323 (5,461 total) and deaths rose by 20 to 396, with six facilities recording their first death.

Active cases increased to 4,617 at 200 facilities — up from 4,145 at 181 facilities last week. There are 72 facilities with resolved outbreaks.

Below is a list of long-term care facilities by city that have active cases of the coronavirus:

American Falls: Edgewood Spring Creek American Falls, Power County Nursing Home; Ammon: Promontory Point Rehabilitation, Crystal Creek Assisted Living; Ashton: Ashton Memorial Living Center; Bellevue: Cove of Cascadia; Blackfoot: Syringa Chalet Nursing Facility, Gables Assisted Living of Blackfoot, Willows Retirement & Assisted Living;

Boise: Terraces of Boise, Edgewood Spring Creek-Overland, Cascadia of Boise, Garden Plaza of Valley View-Valley View Nursing & Rehab, Garden Plaza of Valley View-The Bridge; at Valley View, Overland Court Senior Living, Willow Park Senior Living, Arbor Village at Hillcrest, Arbor Valley of Cascadia, Edgewood Castle Hills, Shaw Mountain of Cascadia, State Veterans Home-Boise, Independent Living Services Freedom, MorningStar Senior Living of Boise, Edgewood Spring Creek Memory Care-Five Mile, Edgewood Plantation Place, Overland Court Generations Memory Care, Ashley Manor-Cloverdale, Regency Columbia Village, Communicare No. 3 Pond, Brookdale Boise Parkcenter, Grace Assisted Living at Englefield Green, Ashley Manor-Cory Lane (formerly AarenBrooke Place), Cottages of Boise, Life Care of Treasure Valley, Grace Assisted Living at State St., Boise Group Home No. 1 Pennfield, Avamere Transitional Care, Riverview Rehabilitation, Boise Group Home No. 3 Holt, Boise Group Home No. 2 Molly Court, Boise Group Home No. 4 Eshelman;

Bonners Ferry: Boundary County Nursing Home, Community Restorium, Sunset Home Assisted Living; Bonneville: New Beginnings Community Living; Buhl: Desert View Care, River Rock Assisted Living, Evergreen Place Assisted Living, Autumn Breeze; Burley: Mini Cassia Care Center, Parke View Rehab, Diamond Peak of Burley, Highland Estates, Rosetta of Burley; Caldwell: Autumn Wind, Canyon West of Cascadia, Lenity Senior Living, Caldwell Care of Cascadia, Grace Assisted Living Caldwell; Challis: Diamond Peak Health Care of Challis; Chubbuck: Brookdale Chubbuck, Ashley Manor-Hawthorne;

Coeur d’Alene: Lacrosse Health & Rehab, Advanced Health Care of Coeur d’Alene, Life Care Center of Coeur d’Alene, Ivy Court, Coeur d’Alene Health and Rehab of Cascadia, Pacifica Senior Living Coeur d’Alene, Courtyard at Coeur d’Alene, Rose Terrace Cottages, Legends Park Assisted Living, Renaissance at Coeur d’Alene, Garden at Orchard Ridge, Bristol Heights Assisted Living, Brookdale Coeur d’Alene; Darlington: Antelope Creek Living Center; Eagle: Edgewood Spring Creek Eagle Island, Foxtail Senior Living; Emmett: River’s Edge Rehab, Meadow View Assisted Living; Gooding: Bennett Hills Rehab & Care Center; Grangeville: Meadowlark Homes, Grangeville Health & Rehab Center;

Hailey: Silvercreek Assisted Living; Hayden: Wellspring Meadows, Harmony House Assisted Living, Peterson Place Assisted Living; Homedale: Owyhee Health & Rehab; Idaho Falls: Life Care Center of Idaho Falls, Yellowstone Group Home No. 1, Teton Post-Acute Care and Rehab, Fairwinds-Sand Creek, Good Samaritan-Idaho Falls Village, Parkwood Meadows, Lily and Syringa Assisted Living, Lincoln Court Retirement Community, Broadway Fields Assisted Living, Turtle and Crane Assisted Living, Broadway Hills; Jerome: Ashley Manor-Lincoln, Creekside Care Center, Desano Place Assisted Living; Kellogg: Mountain Valley of Cascadia;

Kimberly: Oak Creek, Ashley Manor-Buttercup Trail, Alpine Manor; Kootenai: Hearthstone Village; Kuna: Swan Falls Assisted Living; Lewiston: Prestige-The Orchards, Life Care Center of Lewiston, Advanced Health Care of Lewiston, Lewiston Transitional Care of Cascadia, Brookdale Lewiston, State Veterans Home-Lewiston, Guardian Angel Homes Lewiston, Pleasant Valley Shelter Home, Wedgewood Terrace, Royal Plaza-Lewiston; McCall: McCall Rehab and Care Center; Meridian: Creekside Transitional Care, Touchmark at Meadow Lake Village, Edgewood Spring Creek Meridian, Golden Years Oak Crest, Veranda Senior Living-Paramount, Grace Assisted Living-Fairview Lakes, Trinity at 1st Street, Meridian Meadows, Alpine Meadows Assisted Living, Harmony Hills, Golden Years Kimra;

Montpelier: Bear Lake Memorial Skilled Nursing, Bear Lake Manor; Moscow: Good Samaritan Society-Moscow Village, Aspen Park of Cascadia; Mountain Home: Country Living Retirement of Mountain Home, Cottages of Mountain Home; Nampa: Meadow View Nursing & Rehab, Streamside Assisted Living, Grace Assisted Living-Nampa, Karcher Estates, Sunny Ridge (Skilled Nursing), Cascadia of Nampa, Cottages of Nampa, Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, Orchards of Cascadia, Wellspring of Cascadia, Park Place Assisted Living; Orofino: Clearwater Health & Rehab of Cascadia, Brookside Landing; Payette: Payette Healthcare;

Pocatello: Brookdale Pocatello, Caring Hearts Assisted Living, State Veterans Home-Pocatello, Independence Home, Elegant Residential Living, Monte Vista Hills, Gables of Pocatello 1, Copper Summit Assisted Living, Pocatello Assisted Living Center-Willard House; Post Falls: Guardian Angel Homes, Seven Oaks Community Home-Elm, Seven Oaks Community Home-Larri Lee, Seven Oaks Community Home-Stephanie, Seven Oaks Community Home-Tybalt, The Lodge at Riverside Harbor, Life Care of Post Falls, The Bridge at Post Falls; Preston: Franklin County Transitional Care, Heritage Senior Living; Rexburg: Madison Carriage Cove, Temple View Transitional Care, Homestead Assisted Living Rexburg;

Rigby: Rigby Country Living Center, The Wildflower of Rigby; Rupert: Countryside Care and Rehab, Autumn Haven Assisted Living, Vista Assisted Living (now Etosha Assisted Living); Salmon: Discovery Rehab and Living; Sandpoint: Life Care Center of Sandpoint, Luther Park at Sandpoint, Valley Vista Care-Sandpoint; Shelley: Diamond Peak of Shelley; Shoshone: Lincoln County Care Center; Soda Springs: Caribou Memorial Living Center; St. Anthony: Homestead Assisted Living-St. Anthony; St. Maries: Valley Vista Care-St. Maries;

Twin Falls: Brookdale Twin Falls, Serenity Transitional Care, Chardonnay Assisted Living, Twin Falls Care, Heritage Assisted Living, Ashley Manor-Parkview, The Canyons Retirement Community, Clear Creek Home, Campus View Home, Syringa Place, Grace Assisted Living-Twin Falls, Blake View Home; Weiser: Weiser Care of Cascadia; Wendell: Magic Valley Manor; Winchester: Lakeside Assisted Living.


Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 3,878 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 727 admissions to the ICU and 4,985 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. 26, the health system was reporting 131 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 469 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 23%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Nov. 26, the health system was reporting 81 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 360 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 26.3%.

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 Nov. 14-27: Centennial High (5), Eagle High (11), Idaho Fine Arts (1), Meridian Academy (1), Meridian High (7), Mountain View High (15), Renaissance High (5), Rocky Mountain High (10), Virtual High School (1), Crossroads Middle (2), Heritage Middle (4), Lewis and Clark Middle (3), Lowell Scott Middle (9), Meridian Middle (4), Pathways Middle (1), Sawtooth Middle (5), Star Middle (5), Victory Middle (4), Virtual Middle (1), Barbara Morgan STEM (1), Cecil D. Andrus Elementary (2), Christine Donnell (1), Desert Sage Elementary (1), Discovery Elementary (2), Eliza Hart Spalding STEM (3), Frontier Elementary (1), Hillsdale Elementary (1), Hunter Elementary (1), Lake Hazel Elementary (2), Mary McPherson (5), Meridian Elementary (4), Pepper Ridge (3), Peregrine Elementary (2), Pleasant View Elementary (1), Ponderosa Elementary (2), Prospect Elementary (3), River Valley Elementary (4), Seven Oaks Elementary (1), Siena Elementary (1), Silver Sage Elementary (1), Summerwind STEM Academy (1), Ustick Elementary (5).

Testing totals: At the end of the day Friday, Health and Welfare reported that 468,895 people had been tested statewide. About 18% 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 21,731, Adams 84, Bannock 2,685, Bear Lake 148, Benewah 261, Bingham 1,806, Blaine 1,190, Boise 105, Bonner 843, Bonneville 5,651, Boundary 159, Butte 104, Camas 40, Canyon 13,698, Caribou 261, Cassia 1,962, Clark 40, Clearwater 475, Custer 130, Elmore 647, Franklin 517, Fremont 644, Gem 757, Gooding 689, Idaho 684, Jefferson 1,169, Jerome 1,556, Kootenai 6,706, Latah 1,605, Lemhi 370, Lewis 174, Lincoln 284, Madison 3,638, Minidoka 1,580, Nez Perce 2,064, Oneida 107, Owyhee 606, Payette 1,359, Power 370, Shoshone 486, Teton 408, Twin Falls 5,558, Valley 197, Washington 628.