Rachel Cohen

Reporter, South Central Idaho

Rachel Cohen joined Boise State Public Radio in 2019 as a Report for America corps member. She is the station's Twin Falls-based reporter, covering the Magic Valley and the Wood River Valley.

Rachel began her journalism career working at a local newspaper in Vermont. She interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she reported on food and health, and has most recently worked at New Hampshire Public Radio as a producer for All Things Considered. In New Hampshire, Rachel also contributed to coverage of state politics and the early days of the 2020 presidential primary.

She is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, and enjoys spending her weekends in the mountains.

Ways to Connect


As coronavirus cases reach record highs in Idaho, testing centers, as in other states, are seeing a surge in demand. Wait times to get tested are increasing and tests sent to out-of-state labs are coming back upwards of four days later, rendering them ineffective in monitoring positive cases.


Visitor7 / Wikimedia Commons

The number of coronavirus cases in Canyon County has tripled in the past two weeks — from 435 to 1,397 on Tuesday evening. In the last week, the percent increase of cases on a per-capita basis was 83%, compared to an increase of 47% per-capita in Ada County. 


Idaho National Laboratory

A year after a massive wildfire swept across the high-desert grasslands at the Idaho National Laboratory, the research facility is figuring out how to protect its property going forward.


Idaho Geological Survey

It’s been three months since a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Stanley on March 31. Since then, Stanley residents have felt many more rumbles and geologists have deployed to central Idaho, investigating what happened and what it can tell us about Idaho’s seismic nature.


Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

Idaho hit its highest daily total of coronavirus cases this week with 341 new confirmed cases reported on Tuesday. Now some local governments are responding by mandating face coverings in public.


Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio

Nonprofit organizations are serving more clients during the pandemic, which requires more money. Many of these groups host big events in the spring and summer to raise funds for the year. To maintain social distancing, organizations have had to think of new ways to make sure their doors stay open.

Sun Valley Film Festival / via Facebook

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump suspended several temporary work visas through the end of the year, which could hurt the ski industry in the Mountain West.


Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Health officials in Idaho are seeing more COVID-19 cases among young people.



The Supreme Court ruled against President Donald Trump’s effort to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, on Thursday.



Tal Roberts / Visit Sun Valley

Blaine County tested a sample of residents for COVID-19 antibodies in April as part of a study, and some of the initial results are in.



The Supreme Court is expected to decide the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in the next couple weeks and as early as this Thursday.


DARIN OSWALD/Idaho Statesman

Long-term care centers will be able to open their doors to visitors beginning on Saturday, as the state moves into Stage 4 of its reopening plan. 



Governor Brad Little said in early May that it had been weeks since he’d spoken to Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin. But on Tuesday, McGeachin joined Gov. Little and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen for the first time during a weekly COVID-19 town hall.



Almost three months since the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Idaho, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has started sharing the names of long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks.



U.S. Census Bureau

Before the coronavirus pandemic, nonprofits had big plans to encourage Idahoans to fill out the 2020 census. Across the state, face-to-face events were scheduled to educate people about the importance of filling out the form and to help them complete it in person. But the stay-at-home order hindered many of those efforts.

AP Images

The coronavirus has, at times, stretched public health resources in Idaho. It has required retired doctors, school nurses and even college students to help out with the pandemic’s response.


Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Idahoans came together in peaceful protests and vigils across the state Tuesday evening in honor of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of police in Minneapolis last week.


Courtesy Lisa Enourato / City of Ketchum

From New York City to Seattle, cities across the country are closing streets to cars to make more room for pedestrians and cyclists during the pandemic. Late last month, Boise voted to pilot blocking off part of 8th Street to cars and on Monday, Ketchum City Council approved closing part of a downtown street.


Courtesy of St. Luke's Health System

Idaho’s wishlist for expanding coronavirus testing is long. But since releasing a testing strategy more than a week ago, the state hasn’t provided much clarity on how it will get all the tests it will need.




Idaho Statesman via Crush the Curve

Almost 100 coronavirus cases confirmed in the Magic Valley in the last week were from two food processing facilities.


Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

COVID-19 has touched all corners of the country, but there are still about 180 counties without a single confirmed case, according to a recent Washington Post analysis

Butte County is one of 10 Idaho counties with no coronavirus cases. With just more than 2,500 people, it’s the third least-populated county in the state.



Courtesy of St. Luke's Health System

Editor's note: This post has been updated with new information following Gov. Little's press conference on the state's testing strategy.


In late April, a testing task force formed by Gov. Brad Little met for the first time.


Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio

For tourism destinations like Sun Valley, events are more than opportunities for gathering and celebration — they mean the promise of flights touched down, hotel rooms booked and meals eaten at local establishments.


Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio

One long-term care facility is the first of its kind in Idaho — it will care for only patients who have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have symptoms of coronavirus.