Officials: Idaho could see 30,000 COVID-19 cases per week by October

Posted at 4:16 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 12:07:02-04

IDAHO — COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the state and health officials say healthcare systems are seeing peak levels of hospitalizations.

With the direction Idaho is headed based on current data, hospital officials are saying they may reach crisis standards of care as soon as two weeks from now.

Officials say we could be in for a “grim winter” as Idaho is mirroring data from last winter's COVID-19 surge.

“Two weeks ago, we told you we had not seen numbers like this since January and March of this year. Now we are seeing numbers, like our hospitalizations for example, closer to what we saw near our highest peak in November and December,” said Elke Shaw-Tulloch, Public Health Administrator.

COVID numbers

Cases have been increasing in each region of the state over the last four weeks according to Shaw-Tulloch.

Over 700,000 people in Idaho have been fully vaccinated, but the delta variant continues to dramatically drive Idaho COVID-19 metrics in the wrong direction.

“The surge is driving our projections upward to about 30,000 cases per week by mid-October and to put that in context, at our peak data case count, if you take that peak and multiple it by 7, you would have had about 20,00 cases per week. So this is beyond what we saw last winter,” Deputy State Epidemiologist Kathryn Turner said.

The White House COVID-19 data director now says every state has at least 50% of its eligible population vaccinated with one dose. In Idaho, 52% of people ages 12 and up have received one dose and 47% are fully vaccinated.

According to Central District Health, vaccine rates have increased in Ada, Boise, Elmore and Valley counties and have a combined vaccination rate of 60%.

“We’re looking at the severity of new strains and higher case counts. We're also hearing a lot from our hospital partners on capacity issues so we definitely know that there is more of a seriousness about this and knowing that vaccination is the key to prevent hospitalizations, we’re seeing people seek vaccine out,” CDH's Health Education Specialist Senior Zack Ward said.