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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 Aug. 9-15

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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 Aug. 9-15 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.

14 New Deaths, Idaho Records Deadliest Day During Pandemic

August 14 - 5:15 p.m. 

State health officials reported 502 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by lab tests Friday. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 25,385. There are an additional 1,788 probable cases statewide.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 14 new deaths Friday, bringing the statewide total of deaths to 265.

This is the most deaths the state has reported in a single day since the pandemic began. 

 

Cassia County Fair Begins With County In 'High-Risk' Transmission Category

August 14 - 9:32 a.m.

The South Central Public Health District announced on Thursday that Cassia County is in the “Orange” or “High” risk category to due its high level of community spread. 

 

Cassia’s week-long fair begins this weekend. 

 

Organizers of the 110-year event say health is a concern. They’re encouraging social distancing and the carnival rides aren’t happening. 

 

But, to enter the Burley fairgrounds, attendees have to sign a liability waiver. It says you understand that Cassia County and the fair board aren’t responsible for any risks you may encounter at the fair, including those relating to COVID-19. 

 

The health district has not issued mandate requiring face masks or limiting large gatherings.

 

A Coronavirus Liability Bill In Idaho Is Getting Pummelled Across The Political Spectrum

August 14 - 7:30 a.m.

Idaho’s largest teachers’ union is blasting a proposal that would limit the liability schools would bear related to the coronavirus, which might be taken up during this month’s special session. 

In a statement Thursday, the Idaho Education Association said the bill is “filled with flaws and trap doors,” which it says would give school districts the ability to disregard their own pandemic safety plans.

Read the entire story here.

Idaho Adds 465 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Five More Deaths

August 13 - 5:15: p.m. 

 

Idaho added 465 more lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday for a statewide total of 24,883 confirmed cases. Five additional deaths due to COVID-19 were recorded — all in Ada County. There are now 251 deaths total.

 

Ada County saw 162 more confirmed cases on Thursday, Canyon County gained 69 and 30 were recorded in Bonneville. Shoshone County, with a population just short of 13,000, added 20 confirmed cases. 

 

As of Wednesday, the state health department reported all Idaho counties had a case of COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic. Lewis and Butte were the last counties to record positive cases; Lewis gained three more cases on Thursday.

 

Another 468 New COVID-19 Infections In Idaho

Aug. 12 - 5:02 p.m.

Idaho reported another 468 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths Wednesday.

This brings the state's total of confirmed cases throughout the pandemic to 24,418.

The numbers come a day after The Central District Board of Health limited social gatherings in Ada County to no more than 10 people and required masks in Valley County.

Call The Midwife: At-Home Births Increase In Idaho Due To Pandemic

August 12 - 7:30 a.m.

Across the country many expectant mothers are turning to at-home births amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to curb the spread of coronavirus, many hospitals have had to make policy changes, like limiting the number of family members who can be in the delivery room. Chelsea Jahn, co-owner of Red Tent Midwives, said this has been one of the main reasons many women have turned to at-home births.

Read the entire story here.

 

New Limits On Gatherings In Ada County, Masks Required In Valley County

August 11 - 6:34 p.m.

Social gatherings in Ada County were restricted Tuesday to 10 or fewer people, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. And folks in Valley County will now have to wear masks.

Read the full story here.

Coronavirus Deaths, Cases Rise In Idaho Tuesday

August 11 - 5:09 p.m.

State health officials say another seven people have died due to complications from COVID-19, bringing Idaho’s total to 246. 

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare recorded two deaths in Ada County, three in Canyon County, one in Payette County and Benewah County’s first.

 

Officials also confirmed 425 new cases Tuesday. The state has now recorded 23,950 since mid-March.

 

Total hospitalizations dropped slightly, but the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU dropped by about 25% to 32 patients as of Aug. 8.

 

Coach Harsin On Boise State Football's Postponed Season

August 11 - 2:00 p.m.

Boise State fall sports, along with the rest of the schools in the Mountain West Conference, have been postponed indefinitely, including Bronco football.

Coach Bryan Harsin said everyone in the program was disappointed to hear the news Monday.

Read the entire story here.

Schools In Twin Falls Will Most Likely Open Fully In-Person Next Week

August 11 - 8:00 a.m.

Schools in Twin Falls will open to students on August 19, the school board decided Monday evening, barring a significant change to the COVID-19 picture locally.

Read the entire story here.

Ada, Canyon Counties Continue To Drive Idaho's Coronavirus Outbreak

August 10 - 5:13 p.m.

State health officials Monday confirmed another 402 cases of the coronavirus in Idaho, as well as two more deaths.

Idaho has now recorded 23,525 cases of COVID-19 and 239 deaths since March 13.

 

Nearly two-thirds of these newly confirmed cases originated in Ada and Canyon counties.

 

Hospitalizations are still among the highest levels Idaho has experienced during the pandemic, but appear to be dropping slightly.

 

As of Aug. 5, the latest data available, 201 people were hospitalized, with 48 in the ICU.

 

 

 

 

Idaho Lawmaker: "Listening To Experts Is An Elitist Approach" To Coronavirus Restrictions

August 10 - 5:05 p.m.

A group of Idaho lawmakers is pushing a bill that would strip the power of public health districts to close schools during an emergency or mandate masks to prevent the spread of disease.

Members of the Education Working Group Monday overwhelmingly voted for the proposal. Many lawmakers said local school board members should be making these decisions, as opposed to public health district board members.

Read the entire story here.

 

Idaho Community Colleges Prepare To Reopen Their Doors This Month

August 10 - 3:30 p.m.

Each of Idaho’s four community colleges are set to welcome students back to school in-person this month as cases of coronavirus have spiked far beyond what the state experienced earlier this spring.

Read the entire story here.

Mask Mandate In Valley County? Idaho Public Health Officials Will Vote Tuesday

August 10 - 8:30 a.m.

Public health officials are no longer considering closing gyms in Ada County this week, but the size of public gatherings could be significantly lowered.

A recent report from the Trump administration put Idaho in the ‘red zone’ when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus. It recommended significant restrictions to tamp down transmission.

Read the entire story here.

 

Magic Valley Schools Lean Toward In-Person Starts While Waiting For Health District Data

August 10 - 7:00 a.m.

Magic Valley school districts will use guidelines approved by the South Central Public Health Board last week to determine how to open schools. As of Friday, the health district hadn’t told counties or school districts where they fall in the matrix of health alert levels.

Read the full story here.

Dramatic Decrease In Cases For Second Straight Sunday Suggests Incomplete Data

August 9 - 5:28 p.m.

For the second consecutive Sunday, the number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed by lab testing in Idaho dropped dramatically below the seven-day average. State health officials listed a total of 170 confirmed cases Sunday. The seven-day average of daily new confirmed cases is 436.5. Sunday, August 2, the state listed 218 new confirmed cases, but the seven-day average at that point was nearly 426.

The state website also listed two additional deaths Sunday. The statewide total is now 237, following additional fatalities in Owyhee County and Bonneville County. However, Eastern Idaho Public Health had previously announced the Bonneville County death midday Saturday.

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic reached Idaho in March is 23,123 plus an additional 1,548 probable cases.

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