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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Coronavirus In Idaho: Resources & News From May 24- 30


Boise State Public Radio is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This blog contains information from May 17-23 on closures, openings, cancellations & news regarding the coronavirus in Idaho.

Looking for resources? Click here. If you have specific questions or a story about the virus in Idaho, please submit them here.

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Member support is what makes local COVID-19 reporting possible. Support this coverage here.

State Announces 27 New Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Saturday

May 30 - 5:10 p.m.

State health officials added 27 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases to Idaho's total Saturday, bringing the running total to 2,578. There are an additional 289 probable cases, nine of which were new Saturday. There were no new fatalities reported.

The number of cases posted by the state Saturday from the Central and South Central health districts were most likely cases reported by the districts Friday after the state's 5 p.m. daily reporting deadline. Neither health district covering the two most impacted areas of the state reports data on weekends.

The state considers 2,248 people to have recovered from infection, while 242 infected have required hospitalization. Ninety-six of those hospitalized have required intensive care, and the state announced 308 healthcare workers diagnosed with the virus, one more than that same total Friday.

31 New Cases, No New Deaths Day Before Phase 3

May 29 - 5:30 p.m.

The day before Idaho moves into its third stage of reopening, the state reported 31 new lab confirmed coronavirus cases. Three more cases were considered probable, bringing the Friday total to 34. There were no new deaths. The state will allow bars and movie theaters to reopen tomorrow. So far, Idaho has had a total 2,551 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19; 82 people have died from the virus. 

Magic Valley Sees Case Spikes Among Food Workers

May 29 - 7:45 a.m.

Almost 100 coronavirus cases confirmed in the Magic Valley in the last week were from two food processing facilities.

At least 50 employees at Rite Stuff Foods, a potato processing facility in Jerome, and 45 employees at Ida-Beef, a slaughterhouse in Burley, tested positive late last week.

Read the full story here.


Idahoans Can Expect To See More Activities Reopen As Restrictions Lift

May 29 - 7:05 a.m.

This weekend many bars and movie theaters will reopen with physical distancing protocols in place. If fancy cocktails and movie dates aren’t your thing right now, there are some other activites slates to return shortly.

Read the entire story here.

Idaho Adds 35 Cases, No Deaths On Thursday

 May 28 - 5:10 p.m.


Idaho added 35 new confirmed coronavirus cases and no deaths on Thursday. There are now 2,520 confirmed cases and 82 deaths statewide. The new reported cases were spread out across the state, but the majority —18 out of the 35 — were in the Magic Valley. Eight hundred and eighty two tests were added to the total today; about 44,500 tests have been completed in total. 


Idaho Moves Into Phase 3 Of Reopening Starting Saturday

May 28 - 5:01 p.m.

Gov. Brad Little is moving ahead with entering the third phase of his reopening plan, despite a recent uptick in confirmed cases.

Bars, which Little moved from the fourth phase of his original plan to the third phase, will be able to open their doors starting Saturday. Movie theaters, which were also originally scheduled to reopen later, can also do so beginning this weekend.

Read the full story here.

Majority Of COVID-19 Cases In Five Magic Valley Counties Are Hispanic Or Latino

May 28 - 2:27 p.m.

The South Central Public Health District released new data on Thursday, highlighting the ethnic breakdown of COVID-19 cases in the district. In six out of the eight counties in the health district, Hispanic and Latino people are overrepresented in confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, compared to the percentage of Hispanic and Latino people living in the county. In Lincoln County, for example, 79% of cases are Hispanic or Latino, whereas that demographic group accounts for only 30% of Lincoln’s population. 


Nearly 50% of cases last week in the South Central Public Health District were employees of two food processing facilities in Jerome and Cassia counties. The health district said employees live in neighboring counties, as well.

Twin Falls County Now Has Most COVID-19 Deaths In Idaho

May 27, 5:18 p.m.

Idaho reported one more death and 27 more lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, in addition to five probable cases.

That brings the state's death toll to 82 and the number of confirmed cases to 2,731. 

The death was in Twin Falls County, which now has the most deaths of any county in the state, with 23. In comparison, Ada County, with nearly 400,000 more people, has had 22 deaths.


Boise City Council Adapts Budget In The Face Of COVID-19 Expenses

May 27 - 7:45 a.m.

Boise’s proposed budget for FY 2021 will be essentially flat compared to last year’s. The city projects a $5.8 million revenue increase, but COVID-19 expenses will add an unexpected burden.

Mayor Lauren McLean and the City Council created a new $3.2 million COVID-19 safety fund, which will be a safety net for virus-related costs next year.

Read the entire sotry here.


'There's A Certain Amount Of Luck Involved' For Idaho County With No COVID-19 Cases

May 27 - 7:15 a.m.

COVID-19 has touched all corners of the country, but there are still about 180 counties without a single confirmed case, according to a recent Washington Post analysis

Butte County is one of 10 Idaho counties with no coronavirus cases. With just more than 2,500 people, it’s the third least-populated county in the state.

Read the full story here.

Twin Falls County Catches Up To Ada County For Most Coronavirus Deaths In Idaho

May 26 - 5:17 p.m.

Idaho has added two new deaths and 13 confirmed coronavirus cases through Memorial Day Weekend.


Both new deaths occurred in Twin Falls County, with a third death being moved from Ada County to Twin Falls County.


Twin Falls County now matches Ada County for the most number of deaths in Idaho at 22 each. Idaho as a whole has recorded 81 so far.

In all, Idaho has 2,458 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 42,776 tests have been completed, which is about 2.3% of the state’s population.


Idaho EdNews Chronicles The Disconnected In Idaho's Distance Learning

May 26 - 7:00 a.m.

Idaho school districts are wrapping up a semester unlike any other. Shuttered since early April, most districts reported early success in then-untested distance learning techniques for hundreds of thousands of K-12 students. That said, there still have been hundreds (at least) of other students who have gone "off the grid."

Read the full story here.


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