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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 June 21-27

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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 June 21-27 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.

New COVID-19 Cases Fall Saturday, Ada County Remains a Hot Spot

June 27 - 5:15 p.m.

State Health officials say there were 161 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by lab tests Saturday. Ada County accounted for 67 of Saturday's cases, more than one-third the state total. Idaho's most populated county had more than 600 cases the last week, more than twice its total the week prior.

Three additional cases required hospitalization (312 total), and three more people required intensive care treatment (111 total) according to state data. Seven more healthcare workers contracted the virus, for a total of 475 since mid-March.

Idaho has a total of 4,790 lab-confrimed cases of COVID-19. An additional death was reported in Jerome County, bringing the statewide total to 91.

Central District Health Rescinds & Reissues Phase 3 Directive For Ada County

June 26 - 5:30 p.m.

Following a report that the Central District Health Board violated state open meeting laws, the group held an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to rescind the directive that returned Ada County to Stage 3 coronavirus restrictions starting Wednesday, June 24.

The board heard a presentation about the violation from its attorney Michael Kane, who recommended rescinding the directive issued during the illegal meeting that happened last Saturday, June 20.

Read the entire story here.

New State High for COVID-19 Cases at 263

June 26 - 5:08 p.m.  

Idaho hit a new record Friday for lab-confirmed coronavirus cases with 263 positive tests. Coronavirus cases are on an upward trend with a total of 1163 new cases over the last seven days. The last highest seven-day period was in March with a total of 791. The Idaho North Central District confirmed its first positive case in Clearwater County of an adult in their 20s.

Governor Brad Little delayed moving out of Stage 4 of his reopening plan this week because of the increasing caseload. Ada County, at the heart of the new outbreak, moved to a modified Stage 3 this week and ordered bars to be closed. The Central District Health Board violated the state’s open-meeting policy when it initially made the order and rescinded it late Friday. The board  immediately reinstated the county order. The death toll remains at 90. 
 

Idaho Adds 200 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, As State Stays In Stage 4

June 25 - 5:08 p.m.

 

Two-hundred more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases were added in Idaho on Thursday, for a total of 4,366 statewide, with an additional 499 probable cases. That’s the second day in a row the state has hit at least 200 new cases. Ninety-four of the day’s new cases were in Ada County, and Boise County saw its first confirmed case. 

 

The recent surge in new cases, an increasing percentage of tests that come back positive and a growing number of healthcare workers testing positive are among the factors that kept Idaho from moving out of Stage 4 today. 

 

Going forward, Governor Little said public health districts, city mayors, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Little have the ability to impose further restrictions.

 

Idaho Will Remain In Stage 4 Of Gov. Little's Reopening Plan Amid Coronavirus Surge

June 25 - 12:05 p.m.

Idaho will remain in Phase 4 of Gov. Brad Little’s reopening plan as cases of coronavirus have exploded over the past two weeks.

Wednesday recorded the largest single day total of 223 confirmed cases since the state announced its first case March 13. Idaho now has confirmed 4,166 cases since then, along with 90 deaths.

While the entire state will remain in Phase 4, which is the final phase in Little’s plan, the seven public health districts will ultimately have the authority to move parts of the state backwards through previous phases.

Read the full story here.

 

Idaho Projects 14% Revenue Drop In Upcoming Fiscal Year

June 25 - 8:30 a.m.

Budget and revenue forecasters for the state of Idaho projected a decline of as much as $585 million to the state budget due to the effects of COVID-19. 

Read the entire story here.

 

Boise Mayor On Face Masks, Fireworks And A New Public Health Order

June 25 - 7:00 a.m.

In the wake of the Central District Health Department's order to pull Ada County back to Stage 3 restrictions, due to a recent eruption of COVID-19 cases, Mayor Lauren McLean issued a separate public health order for the City of Boise, intended to remain in effect for at least 30 days.

McLean visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about the details of the citywide order, a 4th of July without any public fireworks display, and what it might take for her to issue a possible mandatory face-covering mandate.

Click here for the full story.

Idaho Sees Highest One-Day COVID Total

June 24 - 5:23 p.m.

Idaho saw its highest number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in a single day Wednesday, with 223 and another 20 probable cases. There was also an additional death, bringing the state's total to 90.

Wednesday's total includes 101 cases in Ada County, which is in the midst of a spike, with some tied to downtown bars where patrons did not practice physical distancing. In response, Central District Health has ordered bars in the county to close again and the county to return to Phase 3 of reopening.

There have been 908 cases over the last seven days, representing by far the worst week for COVID-19 infections in Idaho since the pandemic began in March. In addition, Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced the first confirmed infection of an inmate at an Idaho correctional center.

Gov. Little has all but ruled out a statewide rollback of reopening and in most of the state. Despite rising numbers, nearly all businesses have been allowed to reopen.

The state has now reported 4,645 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 - 4,166 of those cases have been confirmed. Idaho is one of a number of states across the country seeing rising cases.

Amid COVID-19 Spike, Far-Right Lawmakers Gather In Boise To Condemn Pandemic Restrictions

June 23 - 6:15 p.m.

Idaho is seeing a surge of COVID cases, but that didn’t stop 15 legislators from convening a rogue House session to decry pandemic emergency orders.

The Republican legislators, mostly from the far right of the party, wore no masks and sat next to each other against all medical guidance. About 200 people packed the State Capitol gallery above at close quarters, almost entirely without masks.

Read the entire story here.

Coronavirus Cases Continue To Mount In Ada County As It Braces To Reimpose Restrictions

June 23 - 5:17 p.m.

Idaho added another 123 confirmed coronavirus cases Tuesday, with the majority of them in Ada County.

That brings the state’s total to 3,943 since March 13. No new deaths were announced, with that figure remaining at 89.

 

Ada County, which will reimpose restrictions that were lifted nearly a month ago starting Wednesday, has seen dramatic spikes in recent weeks.

 

Since Sunday, the county has recorded 192 cases, according to state officials. Last week, it was 300.

 

 

Judge To Idaho: Put Education Funding Initiative On The Ballot Or OK Online Signatures

June 23 - 3:30 p.m.

A federal judge has ruled Idaho must either allow a ballot initiative campaign to collect signatures electronically, or include the initiative on the general election ballot in November.

Reclaim Idaho, the group behind the successful Medicaid expansion initiative in 2018, sued the state earlier this month after Gov. Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney declined to allow it to collect signatures online amid a global pandemic.

Read the full story here.

Idaho Coronavirus Cases Rise Among Those Experiencing Homelessness

June 23 - 7:20 a.m.

After months of low infection rates, Boise area homeless shelters have seen a recent uptick of coronavirus cases.

Dr. Ted Epperly of Central District Health shared a startling detail at a press conference Monday about the recent spike of COVID-19 infections in Ada County.

Read the entire story here.

235 New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed As Ada County Reinstates Restrictions

June 22 - 5:15 p.m.

State health officials today reported and additional 235 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases — 81 attributed to Sunday and 154 to Monday. Ada County alone reported 138 cases. This brings the statewide total of confirmed cases to 3,820. No additional deaths were reported, keeping the total at 89. 

After entering Stage Four of reopening on June 13, Idaho has continued to see case counts rise, particularly in Ada County. Last Thursday, Gov. Brad Little announced he was handing over coronavirus response efforts to local entities and today, Central District Health issued an order for Ada County to return to Stage Three operations. 

CDH officials say Ada county has seen a 500% increase in cases over the past few weeks – the highest they’ve seen since Idaho recorded its first coronavirus case March 13. The order goes into effect Wednesday morning and shuts down bars, large venues and gatherings of more than 50 people. Visitors at long-terms care facilities and prisons are also prohibited.

Since Saturday, an additional 10 health care workers have tested positive for coronavirus and 10 more infected individuals have been hospitalized.

Bars, Large Venues To Close In Ada County After Surge In Coronavirus Prompts Rollback

June 22 - 1:17 p.m.

After a surge of positive coronavirus cases, Central District Health is reverting back to stricter restrictions in Ada County to help corral the disease.

Last week, Ada County tallied 275 cases of COVID-19 – more than half of the total number of confirmed cases in Idaho, according to state health officials.

Central District Health officials say the county has seen a 500% increase in cases over the past few weeks – the highest they’ve seen since Idaho recorded its first coronavirus case March 13.

Read the full story here.

ACHD To Close Headquarters Temporarily For Cleaning

June 22 - 12:04 p.m.

Ada County Highway District’s headquarters building in Garden City will close Monday, June 22 at 12:30 p.m. for cleaning and disinfection after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The building is set to reopen at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24.

The ACHD Orchard location, maintenance and traffic operations facilities will remain open. ACHD is still available at: 208-387-6100.

 

Idaho Health Officials See Increase In COVID-19 Cases Among Young People

June 22 - 7:15 a.m.

Health officials in Idaho are seeing more COVID-19 cases among young people.

Last week, the cluster among bar goers in downtown Boise rose to 69 people.

Read the entire story here.

 

Zoo Boise Reopening, Monitoring Numbers Of COVID-19 In Treasure Valley

June 22 - 7:00 a.m.

Zoo Boise is opening with various safety measures in place, including a limited number of visitors, one-way walking paths and strongly encouraging guests to wear masks.

Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway says the zoo is keeping a close eye on the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the Treasure Valley. 

Click here to read the entire story.

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