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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. 23-29


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. 23-29 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.

If you are searching for information on something specific, we recommend using the "find" function (CTRL+F on a PC, COMMAND+F on a Mac). Or search the archived blog posts at the bottom of this page.

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


Idaho Adds 247 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases, 10 Deaths On Friday

August 28 - 5:45 p.m. 

State health officials reported 247 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by lab tests Friday. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 29,088. There are an additional 2,311 probable cases statewide.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported ten new deaths Friday, bringing the statewide total to 353. Six of Friday’s reported deaths were in Ada County, one in Canyon County, one in Cassia County, and two in Shoshone County. Three of the reported deaths were individuals between 70-79, while the remaining seven deaths were individuals 80 and older. 

Boise State University sent out a news release Friday announcing the suspension of three fraternities, as well as 18 students, due to large gatherings that “violated university policies designed to protect our entire community from COVID”. This comes on the fifth day of in-person classes at Boise State.

Idaho Jobless Claims On The Rise After Recent Downward Trend

August 28 - 7:45 a.m.

Unemployment claims in Idaho have ticked up for the second week in a row after significant declines from the beginning of the pandemic.

New first-time filings for unemployment totaled nearly 3,800 last week, according to the Idaho Department of Labor. That’s 4% more than the previous week which had shot up by double digits.

Read the entire story here.

Growing List Of Nonprofits Will Ask Idaho Governor For Mask Mandate

August 28 - 6:44 a.m.

A new survey of Idaho nonprofits reveals that an overwhelming majority — more than 90% — of charitable organizations are in support of Governor Brad Little issuing a mask mandate, either statewide or a mandate for communities with high COVID-19 infection rates.

As a result, the Idaho Nonprofit Center has already collected nearly 200 signatures for a letter which will be delivered to the governor next week, asking him to adopt one of two distinct strategies for implementing a mask mandate.

Read the entire story here.

Idaho Reports 285 More Cases Of COVID-19, Six Deaths

August 27 - 5:11 p.m.

Idaho reported another 285 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and another six deaths Thursday.

This brings the state's total confirmed cases to 28,841. The additional deaths bring that total to 343 since the first Idaho case was reported in March.

Numbers are lower than their peak in mid-July, though much higher than the first three months of the pandemic and have been going up and down for the past two weeks.

Idaho Adds 224 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases, 11 Deaths On Wednesday

August 26 - 5:00 p.m.

Idaho added 224 more lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday for a statewide total of 28,556 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. 


Eleven additional deaths were recorded as well, following yesterday’s 12 deaths, for a total count of 337. Four of Wednesday’s deaths were in Ada County, two in Kootenai County, and one in each of Bingham, Boundary, Canyon, Shoshone and Washington counties.


Payette County leads the state this week for the highest seven-day case rate per capita, whereas Ada County has seen the most cases total.

COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Tick Up Tuesday In Idaho

August 25 - 5:39 p.m.

Coronavirus cases have increased to their highest levels over the past five days in Idaho, with state health officials confirming another 343.


Another 12 people have also died, bringing Idaho’s death toll to 326.


The state has recorded 28,332 confirmed cases since March, according to the state health department. 


Overall hospitalization numbers continue their slow decline, with 160 people having been admitted as of Aug. 22, the most recent data available. 


But the number of people with COVID-19 in the ICU is still elevated at 47 statewide.


Overall, laboratory testing continues to drop, along with the percent of people testing positive. From Aug. 9-Aug. 15, 9.2% of the roughly 19,000 people tested came back positive — the lowest number since mid-June. Health officials have repeatedly said they want to have fewer than 5% of people test positive.

Idaho Records More Deaths, Fewer Cases Monday

August 24 - 5:15 p.m.



For the fourth-straight day, the daily number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Idaho has come in under 300. State health officials announced 174 newly-confirmed cases Monday, continuing a downward trend. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 27,989. An additional 43 cases were listed as probable.


Ada and Canyon Counties continue to report the highest percentages of confirmed cases, with Latah, Nez Perce and Kootenai seeing significant spikes Monday. Of Idaho’s 44 counties, 19 did not report a single new confirmed case today.


Despite the dip in case numbers, Idaho logged seven additional deaths Monday after recording just three over the weekend. Canyon County recorded three while Shoshone and Ada each logged two. 

Boise State President On In-Person Classes, COVID Testing And The Great Fortune Of Having A Job

August 24 - 7:55 a.m.

It's estimated that approximately 10,000 Boise State University students will attend at least one in-person class this semester. That said, thousands more will be accessing instruction from a distance. As Idaho's largest institution of higher education begins another academic year, students, faculty and staff are facing a lengthy list of safety protocols, while the spread of COVID-19 isn't expected to abate any time soon.

Bosie State President Dr. Marlene Tromp visits with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about the delicate balance of reopening classes for some and offering online instruction for others, the university's new partnership with health care providers to increase COVID testing capacity, and why enrollment has actually increased for the new semester. 

Read the entire story here.


Idaho Special Session Raises Health Concerns, Legal Questions

August 24 - 7:45 a.m.

The special legislative session that begins Monday is bringing hundreds of lawmakers and staff to Boise from around the state. Some lawmakers and health experts say the gathering is risky. It also might run into some sticky legal issues.

Read the full story here.

Case Numbers And Deaths Drop In Sunday Trend

August 23 - 5:45 p.m.


State health officials announced just 178 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday, following a trend in dropping Sunday numbers that began late last month. This brings the statewide total of confirmed cases to 27,815. Similarly, only one death was reported statewide from Canyon County, putting the Idaho death toll at 307.


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