'We have hit our peak': State health leaders say testing positivity has declined

Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 19:00:53-05

After five weeks of increasing COVID-19 activity in the state, the data is starting to trend in the right direction and health leaders say Idaho hit a peak in the current surge of COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Health and Welfare reports the state’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate has declined from 39% to 34%. Director Dave Jeppesen says while this is a good sign, testing positivity is still seven times higher than the goal of 5%.

“Yes, we have hit our peak. We were watching the trends to make sure we had hit our peak and right around the third or fourth week of January is when we hit our peak case counts and we are starting to come back down which aligns exactly with our percent positivity trend,” Deputy State Epidemiologist Kathryn Turner said.

Although state health leaders are seeing positive trends in the data, new positive cases and the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is still very high across the state.

Crisis Standards of Care remains in effect across southern Idaho due to staffing shortages and low bloody supply.

Health leaders are continuing to encourage the public to protect themselves against the elevated level of virus activity in the state by getting a vaccine and wearing a proper mask and getting vaccinated.

“We still have a lot of disease circulating the state. There are still people getting omicron and getting hospitalized and deaths that we are having reported to us every day,” State Epidemiologist Christine Hahn said. “We want people to be aware that it’s still a risk out there and that this virus, even though we know that it is not as severe as delta and some of the other previous variants, it still can cause severe illness.”

The number of people getting vaccinated each day in Idaho is declining, right now only about 2,4000 vaccinations are being reported per day and about half of them are booster doses.

Idaho currently ranks 42nd in the nation according to the CDC for vaccination rates against COVID-19 among adults.