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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. 30 - Sept. 5

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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. 30 - September 5 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 Records 245 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, First Fatality in Adams County

  September 4 - 5:21 p.m.

State health officials reported 245 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by lab tests Friday. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 33,196. There are an additional 2,462 probable cases statewide.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported ten new deaths Friday, bringing the statewide total to 382. Four of Friday’s reported deaths were in Canyon County, one in Ada County, one in Adams County, one in Bingham County, one in Minidoka County, one in Twin Falls County, and one in Shoshone County. This was the first fatality recorded in Adams County.

The encouraging trends of dropping daily case numbers and declining test positivity rates might not be here for long. Labor Day Weekend starts tomorrow, and Idaho health professionals say they are expecting to see a rise in cases after the holiday.

CDH Could Drop Ada County To 'Moderate Risk' Category Next Week, Reopen Bar, Schools

September 4 - 7:45 a.m.

After initially saying no to Boise bar owners’ requests to reopen, the Central District Health board Thursday said yes.

Board members voted to approve the reopening of bars at the same time as schools can reopen. Local school districts have reopening plans requiring the county be in category 2 moderate risk. Ada County has been classified as category 3 high risk, but that could change as soon as next week according to district health director Russell Duke.

Read the entire story here

 

Idaho Health Leaders Urge Caution As Labor Day Weekend Approaches

September 4 - 7:00 a.m.

Labor Day Weekend starts tomorrow and health professionals in Idaho say they’re expecting to see a rise in COVID-19 cases after the holiday, as people travel and spend time with friends and family.

“Every single opening or holiday, we’ve seen a bump in cases," said Travis Leach, the president of Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Nampa, during a weekly press conference with Treasure Valley health leaders earlier this week.

Read the entire story here.

Idaho Records 262 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Thursday

September 3 - 5:45 p.m. 

 

Idaho added 262 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday for a total of 30,489 confirmed cases over the course of the pandemic. Zero deaths were recorded, so the total remains at 372 deaths. 

 

The percent of positive tests coming back dropped for the seventh week in a row to hit 8%, down from a peak of 15% in early July. 

 

The state coronavirus website now includes a map showing each county’s transmission level (red, orange, yellow, green) according to its local health district. There are three counties in the red category: Ada, Canyon and Payette. 

 

Despite some encouraging trends including declining daily case numbers and declining test positivity rate, Gov. Brad Little announced Idaho will stay in Stage 4 for the sixth time due to high hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

 

 

 

Gov. Brad Little Keeps Idaho In Stage 4 As Coronavirus Hospitalizations Remain High

 September 3 - 11:20 a.m.

For the sixth time since mid-June, Gov. Brad Little is keeping Idaho in Stage 4 of his reopening plan due to overall elevated hospitalization numbers statewide.

“I do not classify staying in Stage 4 as a failure,” Little said, noting that the number of new cases of coronavirus has fallen from its peak in July and August, but are still averaging nearly 240 cases per day over the past week.

Read the entire story here.

Uncertainty Clouds Payroll Tax 'Holiday' For Idaho Companies

September 3 - 7:15 a.m.

The temporary payroll tax holiday President Trump issued last month went into effect September 1. It allows employers to pause payroll tax collection from employee paychecks, boosting take-home pay through the end of this year. But few — if any — employers in Idaho are participating.

Read the entire story here.

 

Physicians: Severity Of COVID-19 In Idaho Could Have Been Avoided

 September 3 - 6:44 a.m.

COVID-19 has been particularly cruel in Idaho, cutting a wide swath across the Gem State. Six months into the pandemic, there have been 30,000-plus cases of coronavirus and the state is inching toward 400 COVID-related fatalities.

And a chilling letter to Governor Brad Little and other public officials, signed by nearly 40 Idaho doctors, is calling for a "system overhaul" in order to face what promises to be a challenging fall and winter. You can read the full letter by clicking here.

Read the full story on this here.

Four More COVID-19 Deaths, 258 Additional Cases On Wednesday

September 2 - 5:00 p.m. 

 

Idaho recorded an additional 258 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 30, 227. Thirty-eight probable cases were also reported. 

 

Wednesday saw four more COVID-19-related deaths in Idaho — one in each of Ada, Bannock, Canyon and Minidoka counties. Three-hundred and seventy-two Idahoans have now died from the virus. 

 

Ada County added 90 confirmed cases on Wednesday and Canyon County added 40. Clark, Payette and Butte counties currently lead the state for the highest 7-day averages of new cases.

Idaho Adds Another 7 Deaths Due To The Coronavirus Tuesday

September 1 - 5:11 p.m.

Another seven people have died due to COVID-19 in Idaho as the state adds another 222 confirmed cases to the state’s total.

368 have died due to the virus since mid-March in Idaho, including two deaths in Ada and Canyon counties, as well as one death each in Benewah, Bonneville and Kootenai counties.

 

29,969 lab-confirmed cases have been tallied as of Tuesday, according to state health officials.

 

Hospitalizations continue to slowly tick down, with 162 people having been admitted as of Aug. 29, the latest data available.

 

But ICU admissions have been among their highest levels throughout the pandemic. As of Aug. 29, 46 patients were receiving intensive care.

 

August Was Idaho's Deadliest Month Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

September 1 - 7:00 a.m.

Though daily case numbers have been lower on average, COVID-19-related deaths in Idaho surged in August. The state reported a record 172 deaths last month.

The number of deaths in August were nearly double what the state saw in July when 97 Idahoans died of COVID-19. April was the next highest month with 54 fatalities.

Read the entire story here.

Idaho Records Two Deaths, 191 Cases On Final Day Of Deadliest Month

August 31 - 5:15 p.m.

 

 

Idaho added 191 additional lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the statewide total to 29,747. Ada County had the day’s largest number of newly-confirmed cases at 61, while Canyon added 18 and Bonneville and Kootenai Counties each added 16.

 

Canyon County recorded the only two deaths of the day in the state, bringing Idaho’s death count to 361. Despite the low daily number, Monday wraps up Idaho’s deadliest month since the pandemic in March. In all of August, 172 Idahoans died from COVID-19. The month with the second-most deaths was July at 97.

Where Idaho's COVID-19 Community Spread Is Highest, Most Districts Began School In Person

August 31 - 7:00 a.m.

The school year has started for many Idaho children, and the reopening plans have varied widely from district to district, even within counties with high levels of COVID-19 community spread.

Idaho’s public health districts have provided school districts guidance based on the community spread in their area, but ultimately, school boards have the final say on how kids and teachers will meet for learning: online, in the classroom, or a mix of the two. 

Read the full story here.

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