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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 Oct. 11 - 17


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 October 11-17 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.


668 New Confirmed Cases Saturday, Six New Fatalities

October 17 - 5:15 p.m.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare posted 668 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Saturday, plus 210 new probable cases. Saturday's numbers don't come close to Friday's record high count, but are among the highest daily totals of the entire pandemic.

No county posted a triple-digit increase in confirmed cases, but eastern Idaho's Bannock County came close, with 92 new confirmed cases. Elsewhere in eastern Idaho, Bingham County added 50 new cases, Bonneville County 41 and Madison County added 61. Ada County, the state's most populated, increased by 65 new confirmed cases Saturday.

Idaho Breaks Record For Most New COVID-19 Cases In Single Day

October 16 - 7:15 p.m. 

State health officials reported 1,094 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by lab tests Friday. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 51,704. There are 5,618 probable cases statewide. Friday’s reported cases broke the record for the highest single-day count of COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported six new deaths Friday, bringing the statewide total to 523. 

This Thursday, both the West Ada and Boise school districts cleared students to continue some in-person teaching, despite being moved to the highest risk category for COVID-19 transmission on Tuesday.  


Boise, West Ada School Districts To Continue Some In-Person Learning, Despite COVID-19 Surge

October 16 - 7:15 a.m.

Central District Health moved Boise and West Ada school districts to the highest risk category for COVID-19 spread on Tuesday. Because of that, both districts held special meetings Thursday to discuss learning plans going forward.

Read the full story here.


Boise Organizations Help Students Learn Outside The Classroom

October 16 - 6:44 a.m.

Idaho schools are still not fully in-person. To engage students in other ways, some Boise organizations have modified their extracurricular activities, so that young people can continue learning outside the classroom.

Read the entire story here.


Gov. Brad Little Leaves The Door Open To Helping Idaho's Cash-Strapped Universities

October 15 - 6:00 p.m.

Gov. Brad Little is walking back comments he made last week that he would not reverse a one-time, $200 million cut to state agencies, even though Idaho is expecting its largest budget surplus in history.

Read the full story here.

Idaho Reports Fifth-Highest One Day Confirmed COVID-19 Caseload

October 15 - 5:18 p.m.

For the second day in a row, Idaho had one of its highest count of new COVID-19 infections, with 572 lab-confirmed cases and another 146 probable cases.

The combined 718 new cases is the second highest state total since the first infection was reported here in mid-March. The 572 lab-confirmed cases is the fifth-highest one-day confirmed total. One new death was reported bringing the state total to 517.

Despite the surge in infections, it's business as usual in most of the state with few if any pandemic restrictions in most cities and counties and Gov. Brad Little still resisting a statewide mask order.

Boise State University Announces Faculty Furloughs As Idaho Predicts Record Surplus

October 15 - 8:00 a.m.

Boise State University has announced its plan to furlough faculty members over the next few months, despite projections that the state is on track for a record-breaking budget surplus.

Boise State Interim Provost Tony Roark sent the plan in an email Wednesday. It would affect 540 faculty earning more than $40,000 a year. Those who earn more will be required to take more time off.

Read the full story here.


Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases, Idaho Students Must Take SAT To Graduate

October 15 - 6:45 a.m.

Idaho High School students are required to take a college admissions test to graduate. That requirement was waived for 2020 graduates, but not for the class of 2021.

Read the entire story here.


Idaho Reports Nearly 500 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Four More Deaths

October 14 - 5:16 p.m.

Idaho continued it's alarming spike in COVID-19 cases with another 491 new confirmed cases Wednesday in addition to 154 new probable cases.

The 645 combined cases was one of the highest state totals of the pandemic since the first Idaho case was reported in mid-March.

Four more deaths were reported, bringing the state total to 516.

Despite the trend, most of the state has few or no pandemic restrictions and just a handful of cities and counties have mask orders.

COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise in Madison County

October 13 - 5:19 p.m.

Idaho added another two deaths and 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday.

That brings the state’s totals to 512 deaths and 44,160 cases.


Madison County, with nearly 40,000 residents, has led the pack this week with significantly higher case counts per capita than others around the state. The county recorded 67 new confirmed cases Tuesday.  


The news comes just after Brigham Young University-Idaho, which is located in Madison County, said it had learned of cases where students were purposely getting infected by the coronavirus so they could sell their blood plasma to help others recovering from the disease.


“Students who are determined to have intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently dismissed,” the university said in a release.


Madison County has the highest poverty rate per capita in the state.


Magic Valley And Eastern Idaho See Increase In COVID-19 Hospitalizations

October 13 - 12:30 p.m.

Hospitals in the Magic Valley and eastern Idaho are filling up due to an influx of COVID-19 patients in the past couple weeks.

St. Luke’s Magic Valley started off the week with more than 40 COVID-19 patients, Dr. Joshua Kern, the vice president of medical affairs for the hospitals in Twin Falls, Jerome and Ketchum, said during a press conference Tuesday morning.

Read the full story here.

Idaho Coronavirus Cases Continue To Rise

October 12 - 5:12 p.m.

State officials reported 547 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday, though the total could be higher as both Southeastern Idaho Public Health and Panhandle Health District cases were not reflected in the state’s totals by county Monday – this includes counties such as Kootenai, Bingham and Bannock where community spread of the virus is particularly high.

Idaho’s total confirmed cases is now 43,660. An additional 50 cases were listed as probable. Madison County, where BYU-Idaho is located, logged the highest daily count of cases at 141. Ada County added 111 and Bonneville added 72.

Three additional COVID-19 deaths were reported Monday, bringing the state death count to 510. Ada County reported two deaths while Canyon County reported the other.

With daily confirmed case counts on the rise again, the number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions has begun rising as well, according to the latest data from the state reported Oct. 10.

News & Updates: