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CDH Data Show Dramatic Increase In COVID-19 Among Young, Old Boise Residents

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As COVID-19 infections in Ada County and Boise are on the rise, the Boise City Council is exploring what to do next.

In its afternoon work session Tuesday, the council heard from Kimberly Link, Communicable Disease Control program manager for Central District Health.

Health department data show a recent dramatic increase in the number of cases, particularly in young people and those 70 and older.

“Everybody should be aware of and concerned about where these numbers are heading,” Link said.

In Ada County, the number of residents 70 and older contracting the virus jumped more than 300% in mid-October, and has remained at those elevated levels. Two weeks later, cases in county residents younger than 18 jumped 55%. Increases in those same demographics in Boise were similar. Overall, the city has seen a 63% jump in weekly case rate from 35 per 100,000 to 55.3.

Link said spikes in hospitalizations have been weeks behind a spike in new cases.

“Anything that we’re doing right now, those effects aren’t going to be seen by our hospitals for two, three, maybe four weeks,” Link said.

She also reminded the council that case numbers decreased this summer after increased restrictions on social gatherings.

Testimony was only informational. Mayor Lauren McLean hinted the city may be gearing up to take additional action, but was not specific.

“I met with Russ [Duke], the director of Central District Health to talk about conveening a smaller meeting,” McLean said, “where we can talk strategically with, ideally, the governor’s office, our police, Central District Health, [and] medical professionals about specifically what Boise can do.”

Tuesday, the council ratified Boise’s most recent restrictions, which are primarily tied to those of Central District Health. That includes a mask mandate in Ada County, and Boise’s ban on bicycle bars.

Violators can be charged with a misdemeanor, but it’s not clear if anyone has been charged for disregarding health directives during the pandemic.

Follow Troy Oppie on Twitter @GoodBadOppie for more local news.

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