Coronavirus In Idaho Live Blog: Resources & News

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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 on closures, 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 check 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 More Than 400 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Monday

January 25 - 5:16 p.m.


Idaho health officials added 414 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday with an additional 113 cases listed as probable. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 130,519 since March.


Twelve COVID-19 fatalities were also reported Monday: three in Kootenai County, two each in Canyon and Bannock counties, and one each in Bingham, Bonneville, Clearwater, Jefferson and Valley counties. Idaho’s death toll is now 1,681.


In the most recent data available for hospitalizations on Jan. 23, state officials reported 169 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 – the lowest number recorded since the beginning of October.


As of Monday morning, 93,582 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Idaho. Health officials are preparing to open vaccinations to Idahoans 65 years and older starting in early February.

Idaho Prepares To Expand COVID-19 Distribution To More Groups

January 25 - 7:15 a.m.

In the beginning of February another large group of Idahoans will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

State health officials say getting through the roughly 300,000 residents who are 65 or older who will become eligible then could take about 10 weeks if the state’s vaccine allotment of 20,925 first doses a week doesn’t increase. Read the full story here.

Idaho Adds 13 Coronavirus Deaths

January 22 - 5:30 p.m.

On Friday, Idaho added 598 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 13 new deaths. More than 400,000 Americans—including 1,667 Idahoans—have died from the virus.

Of the new deaths, three were reported in Canyon County. Bannock, Bonneville, and Jefferson Counties reported two deaths each. Bingham, Gem, Kootenai, and Twin Falls Counties reported one death each.

Over the past week, the state’s long term care facilities reported four new coronavirus outbreaks and 15 fatalities.

As of Friday morning, 13,732 Idahoans have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Nineteen COVID-19 Deaths Recorded On Thursday

January 21 - 5:33 p.m. 

Idaho added 19 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday. Bonneville and Kootenai counties both had four deaths, Ada County had three and Canyon County had two. Bingham, Bonner, Custer, Jefferson, Payette and Valley counties each recorded one death.


There were 430 confirmed and 182 probable COVID-19 cases added as well, for a daily total of 612 new cases. There have been 129,493 confirmed COVID-19 cases over the course of the pandemic.


Clearwater, Teton and Blaine counties have the highest seven-day average case rates in the state this week.

Two COVID-19 Deaths Removed From State Total

January 20 - 5:20 p.m. 

Idaho added 566 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases and 244 probable cases on Wednesday for a daily total of 810 new cases. There have now been 157,588 confirmed and probable cases in Idaho over the course of the pandemic. 


The state removed two deaths in Gem County from the state total. Now it shows 1,635 Idahoans have died due to the virus. 


Idaho continues its effort to administer the COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers, long-term care residents and staff, teachers and first responders. So far 73,209 doses have been given out and 11,778 individuals in the state have received both doses. 


As of Wednesday morning, the CDC had distributed 166,850 doses of the vaccines to Idaho.

Idaho Ramps Up COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution, More Doses On The Way

January 20 - 7:45 a.m.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says it’s not true that federal COVID-19 vaccine reserves are depleted. The state says it will continue to receive doses as expected. Read the entire story here.

Axing Emergency Declaration May Hurt Idaho's Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout, Officials Say

January 20 - 7:05 a.m.

State senators are moving forward with their effort to end Idaho’s emergency declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though Idaho could still lose millions in federal funding if it’s passed. Read the full story here.

Idaho Reports Another 30 People Dead Tuesday From COVID-19

January 19 - 5:54 p.m.

Idaho recorded another 30 deaths and 1,224 combined cases of COVID-19 over the past two days. 

State officials didn’t report data over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.


That includes 975 lab-confirmed cases and 249 probable cases.


Six people died in both Canyon and Kootenai counties; four people died in Ada County; Gem County reported three deaths; Twin Falls tallied two deaths; and one death was recorded in each of Bannock, Bonner, Bonneville, Caribou, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Payette and Washington counties.


Overall, hospitalizations are inching downward. According to the latest data, 266 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 or a suspected case of it as of Jan. 16. 


ICU admissions had been creeping back up, but saw a slight drop that day to 77.


Idaho's Health And Welfare Provides A Multilingual Resource During The Pandemic

January 19 - 8:20 a.m.

As the vaccine rollout continues into its sixth week and clinics around the valley begin to allow registration, many questions still remain for Idahoans. Idaho’s health department is hoping their COVID hotline will help reach more populations in different languages.

Spanish speakers can call into Health and Welfare’s COVID-19 Help Now Line with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, the new strain of the virus and where to find resources. Read the entire story here.

Idaho Public Health Districts Hire Lobbyist For Legislative Session

January 19 - 7:05 a.m.

The pandemic has brought Idaho’s public health districts into the spotlight. Many of their decisions — from mask mandates to recommendations for online schooling — have been heavily scrutinized, attracting large crowds to meetings and sometimes protests, too.

Now the seven local health districts are anticipating more attention during the 2021 legislative session. Collectively, they’ve hired a lobbyist, Mike Kane, a Boise lawyer who has represented individual districts. Read the full story here.

Total Hospitalizations Level Off, But Number of ICU Patients On The Rise

January 16 - 8:08 p.m.

State health officials confirmed 523 new COVID-19 infections Saturday, and added another 282 probable cases for a single-day total of 806 statewide. In Ada County, 317 new cases were identified - 39% of the day's total. 

Two new fatalities were reported; one each in Canyon and Twin Falls counties. The cumulative statewide death toll stands at 1,605 people since March. 

Data show the number of people requiring hospital care has leveled off, down about 22% from the peak of COVID hospitalizations in early December. As of January 13, 90 COVID-19 patients were receiving ICU care, a number which has steadily risen more than 25% since January 2.

Idaho Adds 12 Deaths As Global Death Toll Passes Two Million

January 15 - 5:45 p.m.

As of Friday, COVID-19 has killed more than two million people globally; 1603 of those people were Idahoans.

The state reported 12 new deaths on Friday. Bonner and Kootenai Counties reported three deaths each, Bannock and Bonneville Counties each reported two fatalities, and Bingham and Canyon Counties each reported one death.

Idaho’s long-term care facilities reported 51 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past week.

The state also added 671 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases, with an additional 441 probable cases. As of Friday morning, 9,739 Idahoans have been fully immunized, and 31,685 have received at least one vaccine dose.

Central District Health: Despite Vaccine Rollout, Keep Your Mask On

January 15 - 4:54 p.m.

The Board of Central District Health met Friday morning for an update on the spread of COVID-19, the strain found in the United Kingdom and vaccine distribution, among other items. Read the entire story here.

Information Roadblocks To Vaccinating Idahoans In Latino & Latina Communities

January 15 - 7:15 a.m.

Latino and Latina communities continue to face higher rates of infection and death from COVID-19. Now community organizers are working to combat a new obstacle: fear around getting the vaccine. Read the entire story here.

Idaho Reports 27 COVID-19 Deaths

January 14 - 5:10 p.m. 


Idaho reported 27 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday — the second-highest daily death total in 2021 thus far. 


Six of the deaths were in Bannock County. Canyon and Bonneville counties each reported three deaths; Minidoka, Clearwater and Ada counties had two deaths; Washington, Teton, Power, Owyhee, Jerome, Gem, Gooding, Bonner and Blaine counties each had one death.


The state also reported 994 new COVID-19 cases — 715 confirmed and 279 probable cases. 


Idaho has administered 46,703 vaccine doses as of Thursday morning, and 8,859 individuals have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the CDC, 160,075 vaccine doses have been distributed to Idaho.

8 More Deaths As More Than 7,000 Idahoans Have Been Fully Immunized

January 13 - 6:10 p.m.

The number of Idahoans who have received both vaccine shots against COVID-19 stands at 7,280 with another 28,016 residents having had their first immunization. The currently available vaccines require two doses to reach maximum immunity. The state reports 788 people have tested positive for the virus Wednesday with another 303 listed as probable cases. Since March, 125,036 people in Idaho have had a lab-confirmed case of the disease.

Eight more Idahoans have succumbed to the novel coronavirus. Both Ada and Kootenai Counties reported two deaths each, while Benewah, Bingham, Franklin, Gem, Oneida and Shoshone Counties each reported one fatality. Bonneville and Cassia Counties each removed one death from their overall tallies. So far, Idaho has lost 1,564 people to the virus. 


Teachers And First Responders Can Now Get The COVID-19 Vaccine In Idaho

January 13 - 7:05 a.m.

Some frontline workers in Idaho will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine earlier than expected.

Based on the state’s new timeline, firefighters, police officers, pre-K through 12th grade school staff, daycare workers and correctional facility staff are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Read the entire story here.

Idaho Adds 12 COVID-19 Deaths Tuesday As Cases Spike Back Up

January 12 - 5:36 p.m.

Idaho racked up another 12 deaths and 731 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. 

State health officials recorded another 303 probable cases for a total of 1,034 new cases. Since mid-March, 1,556 people have died and Idaho has recorded 124,248 confirmed cases and an additional 27,025 probable cases.

Ada County tallied 9 new deaths Tuesday, with one each in Canyon, Gooding and Twin Falls counties. 

Idaho’s raw case numbers have been trending downward since a record high of 2,298 total cases on Dec. 9, but the most recent testing data show the state’s positivity rate was 16.2% through the week of Jan. 2. 

Health officials have long advocated for a positivity rate under 5% to consider reopening state and local governments.

As of Jan 9., the latest data available, 283 people had been hospitalized with probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 72 of whom are in the ICU.

Idaho Logs Double-Digit COVID-19 Deaths Monday

January 11 - 5:16 p.m.


State health officials added 440 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday with an additional 132 cases listed as probable. The statewide total of confirmed cases in Idaho is now 123,517 since March.


Ten COVID-19 fatalities were also reported Monday. Kootenai County recorded four deaths and one death each was reported in the following counties: Bannock, Bonner, Bonneville, Idaho, Lewis and Nez Perce. Idaho’s death toll is now 1,544.


After an initial increase in hospitalizations at the start of the month, the number of hospitalized patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has dropped. The most recent data available on the state’s website shows 283 hospitalized individuals as of Saturday, Jan. 9. 


Although ICU admissions are down compared to the month of December, those levels have remained fairly elevated since the first of the year. 


On its new COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports 31,487 Idahoans have received the vaccine as of Monday morning. A total of 4,335 people have received both doses.

782 New Confirmed Cases Saturday, Five New Deaths

January 9 - 7:20 p.m.

State health officials identified 977 new COVID-19 cases in Idaho Saturday, 782 of which were confirmed by lab testing. The cumulative number of lab-confirmed cases since March is 122,736, plus an additional 26,499 probable cases. New population estimates for Idaho show a statewide population of about 1,800,000 people - meaning approximately 8% of the state's population has contracted COVID-19. Because many people may carry the virus with minimal or no symptoms, and may not see a medical professional, that percentage could be much higher.

Five new fatalities were posted Saturday, pushing the death toll to 1,528. New deaths occured in Canyon (2), Bonneville, Cassia and Owyhee counties. Ada County on Saturday did not have a reported death for the first time in five days.

The state announced starting January 11, vaccination data will only be updated three times each week, similar to the Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule for hospitalization data.

Outbreaks Resolved In 25 Long-Term Care Facilities, Priority Groups Receiving Second Vaccine Dose

January 8 - 5:45 p.m.

Idaho reported 838 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and six deaths on Friday.

Ada County reported two deaths. Elmore, Gooding, Kootenai, and Twin Falls counties reported one death each.

Since the beginning of January, two of Idaho’s long-term care facilities have reported new coronavirus outbreaks and 25 facilities have reported their outbreaks as resolved.

Idaho is still vaccinating the highest-priority groups: healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents, some of whom received their second doses this week. As of Friday morning, 28,194 vaccine doses have been administered to 26,806 Idahoans.


Idaho Vaccine Committee Advises Moving Residents 65 And Older Up On Priority List

January 8 - 5:15 p.m.

Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee voted to move adults 65 and older up on the state’s priority list on Friday.

Health care workers and long-term care residents and staff are still in the process of getting their doses; some began receiving second doses this week. Read the full story here.

Idaho Records 29 COVID-19 Deaths

January 7 - 5:20 p.m. 


Idaho added 29 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday It’s the highest daily death count in 2021 thus far. 


Canyon and Kootenai counties each had six deaths; Ada County had three deaths; Bonner, Franklin and Lincoln counties had two; and Bannock, Bingham, Bonneville, Boundary Gooding, Shoshone Teton and Washington counties each saw one death. 


The confirmed COVID-19 case count dipped to 722 new cases on Thursday, but there were also 345 probable cases for a daily total of 1,067 new cases. 


As of Thursday morning, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare was reporting 25,416 vaccine doses had been administered in the state.


The Intersection Of Politics And The Pandemic, In Idaho And The Nation

January 7 - 7:00 a.m.

As the nation approaches the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and states across the U.S. — including Idaho — anticipate the 2021 legislative season, the pandemic is certain to intersect with politics through much of the year ahead.

Boise State University Associate Professor Dr. Jaclyn Kettler visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about how the pandemic will cast a long, wide shadow on Capitol Hill and the Idaho Statehouse. Read the entire story here.

Idaho Reports 17 New Deaths, The Highest Rate In 2021

January 6 - 5:30 p.m.

After five days of reporting 12 and fewer deaths, the state death toll ticked up to 17 on Wednesday. There were 933 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases with another 330 probable cases bringing the total daily number to 1,263.  Canyon County reported three deaths. Two deaths were reported in each of the following counties: Ada, Bannock, Bingham, Clearwater and Kootenai and one death was reported in Bonner, Cassia, Payette and Shoshone Counties.  The availability of ICU beds decreased from the previous day to 123, while the number of ventilators open increased to 504 across Idaho. So far, 22,822 doses of the vaccine have been given to residents. 

Idaho To Receive 20,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Each Week

January 6 - 7:15 a.m.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare hosted its first weekly COVID-19 vaccine briefing Tuesday, about three weeks after the first dose was administered in the state. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, Idaho had received 83,475 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and 20,843 — about a quarter of those received — had been administered. However, the state’s tally of vaccines administered can be delayed by a few days. Read the entire story here.

Central District Health On COVID-19 Hospitalizations, ICU Admissions, Test Positivity Rates

January 6 - 7:00 a.m.

While most Idahoans have moved on from the Christmas/New Year break, caregivers nervously await what could be a post-holiday surge of COVIID-19.

"Typically what we see is that people will begin to become ill about five days after exposure to the virus," said Kimberly Link, program manager at Central District Health. "So, for those who, maybe, were exposed around Christmas, those people are ill at this point."

Read the full story here.

Idaho Adds Another 12 COVID-19 Deaths As Cases Tick Back Up

January 5 - 5:40 p.m.

Idaho added another 12 deaths and 983 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday.

An additional 555 probable cases — the state’s largest total recorded during the pandemic — brings the day’s total estimated case count to 1,538.

Since mid-March, 1,471 people have died in Idaho due to the coronavirus, with 119,461 confirmed cases and another 25,382 probable cases.

Kootenai County recorded four deaths; three people died in Ada County; two died in Boundary County; and one person died in each of Bonner, Cassia, Shoshone and Valley counties.

State health officials subtracted a death from Canyon County Tuesday, which has seen the second-highest total death toll in Idaho at 222.

Hospitalizations, which had fallen since around Christmastime, are inching their way back up. As of Jan. 2, the latest data available, 254 people were hospitalized with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 — 54 of them were in the ICU at that time.

Idaho Logs 11 COVID-19 Deaths After Another Holiday Weekend

January 4 - 5:20 p.m.


After two days of no COVID-19 fatalities reported, Idaho logged 11 deaths the Monday after two consecutive long holiday weekends. Three of the deaths were reported in Bingham County. Both Canyon and Kootenai Counties recorded two deaths each, and one death was reported in each of the following counties: Bannock, Benewah, Franklin and Madison.


State officials added 580 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday. An additional 218 cases were listed as probable. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 118,478. 


The most recent data available for both hospitalizations and ICU admissions over the holiday weekend continue to show a declining trend in both statistics. COVID-19 hospitalizations across the St. Luke’s system were down more than 60% at the end of the year compared to early December.


However, medical professionals say hospitals are not out of the woods because they have yet to see the effects of holiday gatherings.


As of Monday morning, 19,569 vaccine doses had been administered in Idaho.

Idaho Avoids Rationing Care As COVID-19 Admissions To Largest Hospital System Dip

January 4 - 7:15 a.m.

Idaho’s largest hospital systems predicted they might need to ration health care before the end of 2020, but they haven’t reached that point yet. Read the full story here.

1,340 New Cases Wednesday, Hospitalizations Trending Upward Again

December 30 - 6 p.m.

Idaho health officials Wednesday identified 1,340 new COVID-19 cases, 1,017 of which were confirmed by lab testing. Ten more people have died, bringing the death toll beyond another milestone to 1,403.

Of Wednesday's fatalities, two each were in Ada, Canyon and Bonneville counties. Bannock, Fremont, Madison and Payette counties had one new death each.

About 40% of the days’ new confirmed cases were in Ada (296) and Canyon (109) Counties.

New hospitalization data from December 28 show a slight increase to 375 people hospitalized, from 345 December 24. The number of COVID-19 patients receiving ICU care fell to 85 Monday, fewest since November 16.

Idaho has administered 13,686 vaccine doses according to Health and Welfare, but that number can be several days behind. The state has received 56,225 doses of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Doses were distributed first to hospitals and medical workers December 14. The state said 15,600 doses had been provided to Walgreens and CVS pharmacies for administration in long-term care facilities, a process which began Monday, December 28. Health officials expect an additional 1,950 vaccine doses to arrive December 31.

Idaho Logs 23 COVID-19 Deaths After Holiday Weekend

December 28 - 5:10 p.m.

Idaho added 566 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 the Monday following the long holiday weekend, during which reported data decreased. An additional 229 cases were listed as probable. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 113,735.


State officials reported 23 new coronavirus-related fatalities Monday, a sharp increase from the only five reported since Christmas Day. Kootenai County reported five deaths while Bonneville, Bannock and Ada Counties each reported three. Two deaths were recorded in Canyon County and one each in Gem, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Shoshone, Payette and Nez Perce Counties.


The most recent data available for both hospitalizations and ICU admissions over the holiday weekend show a continuing decrease in both statistics.


As of Monday, 10,459 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, according to the dashboard on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare website. State health officials say that data can lag the actual number of vaccinations administered by as many as four days.

Pharmacies Begin Vaccinating Idaho's Long-Term Care Residents And Staff

December 28 - 7:05 a.m.

Starting today, employees from two major pharmacy chains will fan out across Idaho to vaccinate long-term care residents and staff. Read the full story here.

Another Day Of More Than 1,000 Cases As Moderna Vaccine Arrives In Idaho

December 23 - 5:45 p.m.

Idaho added 1,110 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and an additional 281 probable cases. Idaho’s positive test rate is around 16.5% according to the latest state data. That’s down from 20% at the start of the month.

The state reported eleven deaths: four in Canyon County, two each in Ada and Bonneville Counties, and one each in Gem, Jerome and Nez Perce Counties. So far, 1,324 Idahoans have died from COVID-19.

The first doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine arrived in Idaho on Wednesday. The latest data shows 6,538 Idahoans have been vaccinated as the national number of vaccinations surpassed 1 million. According to infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, 75% to 80% of the population will likely need to be vaccinated before “herd immunity” becomes possible.

Twelve New Deaths, More Than 1,000 New Confirmed Cases

December  22 - 5:30 p.m.

After three days of the state reporting fewer than 1,000 daily confirmed cases of COVID-19, Idaho reported 1,249 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, with another 468 probable cases, for a total of 1,717 new cases.  Twelve new deaths were reported statewide: five in Canyon County, four in Ada County, two in Bingham County and one each in Bonneville, Madison and Oneida counties. Bannock and Caribou counties each removed one death each from its death toll.  Ada County remains as the county with the highest number of cases for the week ending on Dec. 26. Kootenai, Canyon, Bonneville and Bannock counties are also hotspots in the state.  So far, 5,665 Idahoans have received a vaccination against the virus.  

Idaho Adds Fewer Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Monday As Deaths Rise

December 21 - 5:20 p.m.


Idaho added 678 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday, making it the third day in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases. An additional 239 cases were listed as probable. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 109,102.


After a brief dip in deaths over the weekend, Idaho added 21 deaths to its total Monday, bringing it to 1,301. Ada County reported five,both Bannock and Bonnville Counties reported three deaths and two deaths each were reported in Bingham and Kootenai Counties. The counties of Canyon, Twin Falls, Fremont, Clearwater, Nez Perce and Valley each reported one death.


Despite this growing death toll, both hospitalizations and ICU admissions decreased according to the most recent data made available by the state Saturday.


As Idaho awaits its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna, the state total of vaccine doses administered is 4,348 as of Monday. State health officials say that data can lag the actual number of vaccinations administered by as many as four days.

Saturday's Cases Drop To 3-Figures For First Non-Sunday or Holiday In Nearly Seven Weeks

December 19 - 7 p.m.

The Department of Idaho Health and Welfare posted 851 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, 822 of which were confirmed by lab testing. Saturday was the first non-Sunday or Holiday since November 2 with fewer than 1,000 new cases. The death toll remained at 1,275 people Saturday, with one additional death reported in Canyon County and one death removed from Bonneville County's total. Eastern Idaho District Health did not specify why the fatality was changed.

Idaho's vaccination count more than doubled from it's previous update (Thursday), from 944 to 2,306. State health officials say that data can lag the actual number of vaccinations administered by as many as four days.

While Idaho received far fewer doses of the Pfizer vaccine than originally promised, the state is in line to get 28,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, authorized for emergency use by the FDA late Friday. Both authorized vaccines use mRNA technology to protect against the virus, but Moderna's can be stored slightly warmer than Pfizer's making it potentially a better fit for rural areas.

More than one-third of Saturdays total cases statewide were identified in Ada County.

Death And Case Numbers Remain High, Nearly 1,000 Idahoans Vaccinated

December 18 - 5:30 p.m.

Idaho added 1,069 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases and another 271 probable cases on Friday. New case numbers are continuing to decrease somewhat, but remain higher than at any point since before mid-November.

Canyon and Ada counties were the two biggest hotspots this week, both tallying more than 1,000 new cases each.

The state reported 18 deaths on Friday. Four people died in both Ada and Bonneville counties, two people died in Bingham county, and one person died in each of Bannock, Bonner, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Jefferson, Oneida, and Payette counties.

Cassia and Twin Falls counties removed one death each from yesterday’s numbers.

Idaho’s long-term care facilities reported 28 coronavirus-related deaths and 478 new cases over the past week.

Healthcare professionals around Idaho administered 944 vaccine doses this week, according to the latest data. Yesterday, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced that the state will receive about half as many Pfizer vaccine doses as expected for next week.


Idaho Adds Nearly 30 Deaths As Hospitalizations Stay Near Record Highs

Dec. 17 - 5:45 p.m.

Idaho counted another 28 deaths due to COVID-19 Thursday; case rates have begun to drop slightly.

Ada County recorded 11 deaths; seven people died in Canyon County; Gooding County reported two deaths; and one person died in each of Bannock, Bingham, Bonneville, Boundary, Gem, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Valley counties.


Since mid-March, 1,259 people have died in Idaho due to the coronavirus.


The state added 1,145 confirmed cases Thursday and another 281 probable cases, for a total of 1,426. Idaho has recorded 105,898 confirmed coronavirus cases during the pandemic.


Hospitalizations are still near all-time capacity limits. As of Dec. 14, the latest data available, 470 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 — 109 of them in the ICU.


Fewer people are being tested. Last week, 33,212 PCR tests were analyzed, with a 16.5% positivity rate statewide. That’s down from an all-time high two weeks ago of nearly 20%.


More Than 100 Idahoans Vaccinated As COVID-19 Deaths Climb

Dec. 16 - 5:11 p.m. 


According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s new vaccine tracker, 119 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered by Wednesday morning. 


Still, COVID-19 deaths continue to climb. Seventeen more deaths were recorded on Wednesday, and 1,231 Idahoans have died due to COVID-19 since March. 


State health officials added 1,013 confirmed cases and 420 more probable cases on Wednesday for a total of 1,433 daily cases. There have now been 104,753 confirmed and 20,699 probable cases over the course of the pandemic. 


Canyon, Kootenai and Ada counties have had the highest case counts in the past week.  

Hospitalizations Remain High As Idaho Rolls Out New Vaccine Counter

Dec. 15 - 5:37 p.m.

Idaho added another 20 deaths to its COVID-19 toll Tuesday as confirmed and probable case counts hover near 2,000.

State health officials confirmed 1,400 coronavirus cases, with another 402 listed as probable for a combined 1,802 cases. Since March 13, Idaho has recorded 103,740 confirmed cases and 1,214 deaths.

Six people died in Bonneville County, four in Ada County, three in Canyon County, two in Bannock and Jefferson counties and one each in Custer, Lemhi and Twin Falls counties.

State officials added a new vaccine counter Tuesday as they prepare to rollout a massive vaccination campaign. Thirty-eight doses have been administered so far.

Hospitalization levels remain near their all-time highs.

As of Dec. 11, the most recent data available, 444 people with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 were hospitalized statewide — 101 patients confirmed to have COVID-19 were in the ICU.


Nineteen New Deaths Reported in 13 Counties Across The State

December 14 - 5:30 p.m.

As the national death rate surpassed 300,000 since the start of the pandemic, Idaho reported another 19 deaths on Monday. The state has had a total 1,194 residents die of the virus this year. Ada County reported six new deaths, Kootenai County reported two and Bannock, Bingham, Blaine, Bonner, Canyon, Clearwater, Elmore, Franklin, Lewis, Nez Perce and Twin Falls counties each reported one new death. 

The state reported 863 new lab-confirmed cases with another 175 probable cases for a combined total of 1,038. Since reaching a record of 1,901 confirmed cases on Dec. 9th, the state has reported fewer than 1,500 confirmed cases for the last five days. 

1,122 New Cases, 17 Deaths Saturday

December 12 - 6 p.m.
State health officials posted 1,122 new COVID-19 infections Saturday, 884 of which were confirmed by lab testing. Forty-two percent of new confirmed cases Saturday were in Ada County, along with 11 of the day's 17 posted fatalities. Four other fatalities were attributed to Canyon County. 
Since March, 1,169 people have died of COVID-19, and 100,966 cases have been confirmed by lab testing. In December alone, officials have confirmed 14,695 cases.

Idaho's Lab-Confirmed Case Count Passes 100,000

December 11 - 6 p.m.

Idaho reported 1,197 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the state’s confirmed case count to 100,082 since the pandemic began. An additional 385 cases were probable.

Sixteen new coronavirus-related deaths were reported statewide. Bingham and Canyon Counties reported two deaths each. Ada, Bannock, Bonner, Bonneville, Fremont, Gem, Idaho, Jefferson, Kootenai, Owyhee, Payette, and Twin Falls Counties reported one death each.

Kootenai County has reported the most new cases this week: 1,137 so far. This week also saw four new outbreaks and 605 new cases in the state’s long-term care facilities.

Idaho healthcare providers should receive the first shipments of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in the coming days as it awaits FDA emergency use authorization.

Idaho Adds 33 Deaths, State Stays In Stage 2

Dec. 10 - 6:20 p.m.

Idaho added 1,435 confirmed and 390 probable cases on Thursday for a daily total of 1,825 cases. There have been 98,885 confirmed and 19,143 probable cases over the course of the pandemic.

On Thursday, there were also 33 deaths added to the state on due to COVID-19, and the death count is now 1,136.

The test positivity rate in Idaho continues to climb. During the week ending on Dec. 5, 20% of the COVID-19 tests administered came back positive. Eastern Idaho Public Health District had the highest positivity rate in the state with 24.4% of tests coming back positive.

Gov. Brad Little Offers Grim Warning, Holds Off On New Restrictions As Idaho Hospitals Fill Up

December 10 - 1:45 p.m.

During a tense and emotional press conference Thursday, Gov. Brad Little laid out in grim detail the direction Idaho is heading as hospitals near their limits, though he took no additional action to curb the spread of COVID-19. Read the full story here.

Idaho Sets New Daily COVID-19 Infections Record For Second Day In A Row

December 9 - 5:20 p.m.

Idaho set a daily record for new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row Wednesday, with 1,907 confirmed cases. There were another 391 probable cases for a total of 2,298, also a record.

There were also another 29 COVID-19-related deaths reported, including nine in Kootenai County, six in Bonneville County, three in Canyon County and the first two deaths of the pandemic in Clearwater County. There were two more in Minidoka County and one each in Ada, Bannock, Benewah, Boundary, Idaho, Owyhee and Washington counties. That brings Idaho's total COVID-19 deaths since mid-march to 1,103.

Idaho's cases have been skyrocketing recently and the numbers come a day after Central District Health scrapped a meeting over anti-mask protests that targeted board members' houses and led to arrests.

Despite the spiraling infection and death rates, Gov. Brad Little has resisted a statewide mask mandate, which has been proven to slow the spread of the infection.

Idaho Could Receive First Vaccine Shipment Next Week

December 9 - 7:25 a.m.

The first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Idaho as early as Tuesday. But it could be months before inoculations are widely available. Read the full story here.

Health District Abruptly Cancels Meeting After Protesters Show Up To Board Members' Homes

December 8 - 7:15 p.m.

The Central District Health board was set to consider a new health order Tuesday evening, but the board adjourned the meeting after only fifteen minutes, following a request from the Boise mayor and police chief. Read the full story here.

Idaho Passes 2,000 Confirmed and Probable Daily Cases

December 8 - 6 p.m.

Idaho reported 2,012 COVID-19 total cases on Tuesday, the state’s new daily record. Of those, 1,587 have been lab-confirmed, another new record. Another 425 cases were probable; there have been 95,573 confirmed cases since March.

The state also reported 19 new coronavirus-related deaths. Canyon and Gooding counties both reported three deaths, Bannock, Blaine, and Twin Falls Counties reported two each, and Caribou, Cassia, Gem, Kootenai, Madison, Nez Perce and Owyhee reported one death each.

The biggest hotspots are Kootenai, Canyon, Ada, and Bonneville Counties in that order. Each has reported over 300 new cases so far this week.

Idahoans Slowed Thanksgiving Travel, Except In Eastern Idaho

December 8 - 8:15 a.m.

Thanksgiving Day highway and interstate traffic volumes were down considerably compared to 2019 in southwest, south central and northern Idaho, according to Idaho Transportation Department data. Read the full story.

A First-Person Account Of COVID Vaccine Trial From Mountain West News Bureau Reporter

December 8 - 6:44 a.m.

There is growing curiosity and even some anxiety surrounding the much-anticipated vaccines for COVID-19. While the nation anxiously awaits the FDA's review of the Pfizer and Moderna-based vaccines, hundreds of more trials are continuing on the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, and one of those trials is being conducted in the Treasure Valley.

The Mountain West News Bureau's Madelyn Beck agreed to be a subject in that trial; and following her first injection, she visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about the experience in the "double-blind" trial, some after-the-injection symptoms she encountered, and what she can expect, procedurally, in the weeks and months to come. Read the full story here.

Idaho Adds 20 Deaths, Over 900 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Monday

December 7 - 5:20 p.m.

Following the deadliest week of the pandemic in Idaho, state officials reported 942 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday. The statewide total of confirmed cases is now 93,956. An additional 441 cases were listed as probable.

Twenty deaths have been added to Idaho’s death toll, which now stands at 1,055. Ada County reported seven deaths, Bonneville County reported five and Kootenai County reported three. Bonner, Nez Perce, Payette, Fremont and Bannock counties each reported one death each.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 dropped to 360 on Dec. 5, the most recent data available from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. That is down from 455 hospitalizations reported on Dec. 4. The data shows a similar drop in ICU admissions. As of Dec. 5, 89 patients were reported hospitalized in the ICU due to COVID-19. That number on Dec. 4 was 103.

Despite these dips, both hospitalizations and ICU admissions remain at levels higher than the state has reported in any other month since the pandemic started in Idaho in March.

Cases Down Saturday As Idaho Ends Its Deadliest Week Of The Pandemic

December 5 - 8 p.m.

New cases of COVID-19 in Idaho fell Saturday, at least compared to the record high set Friday. State Health officials posted 1,339 new total cases, of which 1,117 were new lab-confirmed cases. Based on county totals, no new fatalities were reported, but one previous death was moved between Bonneville and Madison counties. Since March, 1,032 people have died.

In the last seven days, the state reports 112 people have died. Even with zero new deaths reported today, it's the highest Sunday-Saturday total of the pandemic.

Canyon County identified 1,201 cases this week according to state data, the most in the state. Ada County was next, with 1,078 new cases. Kootenai County was the only other county with more than one thousand new cases this week.

Since March, 109,705 total cases have been identified by state officials. Of that total, 92,360 cases were confirmed by lab testing and 17,345 cases were probable cases.

McCall Chamber Pulls The Plug On Winter Carnival

December 5 - 5:30 p.m.

After previously planning to forge ahead but without large events, officials at the McCall Chamber of Commerce have canceled the 2021 McCall Winter Carnival. The 2022 McCall Winter Carnival is scheduled for January 28-February 6, 2022.

The Chamber released a statement on its website:

Due to increasing COVID-19 case counts and positivity rates, diminished hospital capacity, and tighter restrictions on public and private gatherings, the McCall Area Chamber of Commerce has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 McCall Winter Carnival.

While we will not be hosting Winter Carnival this year, we will be working to share safe ways visitors can enjoy the McCall area for the entirety of the winter season. Our hope is that we can still celebrate the “Winter Wanderlust” in all of us over the many months of winter. Look for tips and ideas on ways to experience winter fun outdoors, support our local businesses, AND stay safe and healthy.

We appreciate the patience, fortitude, flexibility and understanding you have all shown during this unprecedented time. While we are disappointed to not be able to host Winter Carnival, the health and safety of our residents and visitors is our top priority. Here’s looking toward a new year and brighter days to come.

Idaho Reports More Than 1,500 Daily Cases, A New Record

December 4 - 6 p.m.

Idaho added 1,504 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday—breaking the record for the most daily cases for the seventh time in the last 30 days. There were 407 more probable cases, for a record total of 1,911 confirmed and probable cases on Friday. The total number of confirmed and probable cases since March is 108,366.

The state also reported 18 new coronavirus-related deaths. Ada County reported 10 deaths, Canyon County reported four, Bannock County reported two, and Bonner and Owyhee Counties reported one death each. 1,032 Idahoans have lost their lives to COVID-19 so far.

There have been 11 new outbreaks, 62 deaths, and 655 new cases in Idaho’s long-term care facilities over the past week. So far there have been 458 COVID-19-related deaths across 124 facilities.


More Than 1,000 Idaho Residents Have Died Due To COVID-19

Dec. 3 - 5:30 p.m.

Idaho added 1,314 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases, and 407 more probable cases, on Thursday. That brings the statewide total of confirmed cases to 89,739 and probable cases to 16,716.

The state also passed the grim milestone of more than 1,000 deaths due to COVID-19 on Thursday. Twenty-three more deaths were recorded, bringing the total to 1,014.

The latest testing numbers show a marked decrease in the total number of COVID-19 tests administered the week of Thanksgiving. There were 45,000 PCR tests administered the week ending on Nov. 21 and 29,000 the week ending on Nov. 28. The number hasn’t been that low in six weeks.

Some Boise Anti-Mask Protestors Will Be Cited For Trespassing

December 3 - 7:30 a.m.

Some anti-mask protestors who showed up at multiple downtown businesses this past weekend will get trespassing citations from the Boise Police Department.

Groups of protesters last Saturday visited several downtown Boise businesses and threatened legal action against owners following local city and health department orders to wear masks. Read the entire story here.

More Than 30 New Deaths Reported For Two Days In A Row

December 2 - 6:15 p.m.

Idaho has 1,006 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, with another 423 probable cases. The total number of confirmed cases since March hit 88,425 on Wednesday.

The state is reporting 31 deaths: five in Ada County, four in Canyon and Owyhee counties, three in Bonneville County, Idaho, Kootenai and Twin Falls counties, two in Bonner County, one each in Bingham, Lemhi, Nez Perce and Shoshone counties.

Canyon, Ada, Kootenai, Bonneville and Bannock counties are hotspots with the highest number of cases reported.

Correction: This post originally reported a death in Lewis County, which was incorrect. The information has been updated.


Committee Allocating Idaho's $1.25 Billion In Aid Winds Down

December 2 - 7:45 a.m.

In April, Governor Brad Little authorized a 16-member coronavirus financial advisory committee to oversee $1.25 billion in federal pandemic aid provided to Idaho through the CARES Act.

The relief funds arrived with two major stipulations: They had to be used for pandemic-related expenses and the money was required to be spent — not just allocated — by December 30, 2020. Read the full story here.


Idaho Invests Big In Broadband During Pandemic

December 2 - 7:00 a.m.

By the end of the year, more people in Idaho will have access to broadband, thanks to the state’s nearly $50 million investment during the pandemic.

Idaho funded 102 projects using CARES Act dollars, which will connect roughly 40,000 Idaho households to broadband, many in communities as small as 3,000 people. Read the entire story here.

Idaho Adds Another 31 People To Its Coronavirus Death Toll As Hospitalizations Surge

December 1 - 5:35 p.m.

Another 31 people are dead in Idaho due to the coronavirus as the state is also experiencing its highest levels of hospitalizations and ICU usage during the pandemic.

State health officials reported the new deaths, as well as another 1,148 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Since mid-March, 960 people have died from complications due to the virus and Idaho has tallied 87,419 confirmed cases. Officials have listed another 15,886 cases as probable during this time.

The deaths reported Tuesday span the state.

Ada and Twin Falls counties both reported four deaths. Three people died in each of Bannock, Idaho, Kootenai and Nez Perce counties. Bingham, Bonneville, and Jerome counties reported two deaths each. One person died in each of Boundary, Elmore, Franklin, Gooding and Washington counties.

As of Nov. 28, the latest data available, 110 people are hospitalized in the ICU with COVID-19 — a state record. Overall, 446 people were hospitalized due to a confirmed or suspected coronavirus infection in Idaho.

Legal Problems Upend North Idaho Push To Defund Public Health

December 1 - 4:15 p.m.

A move to partially defund Panhandle District Health by a Bonner County Commissioner fell flat Tuesday morning.

Commissioner Steven Bradshaw floated the resolution last week, which would’ve withheld future payments and clawed back money already given to Panhandle District Health, over its recent five-county mask mandate. But legal counsel for the commission diverted the resolution to a desk drawer. Read the full story here.

Idaho Reports More Than 800 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Monday After Thanksgiving

November 30 - 5:20 p.m.

Following the long holiday weekend, Idaho health officials reported 840 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the statewide total to 86,271. An additional 374 cases were listed as probable.

Idaho reported nine coronavirus-related fatalities Monday — four in Kootenai County and one each in Bonner, Payette, Ada, Bonneville and Bannock Counties. A total of 929 Idahoans have died from COVID-19 since mid-March.

The most recent data available for ICU admissions show a record-high of 110 patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit on Saturday, Nov. 28. On the same day, an alarmingly-high 446 patients were reported hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. More current information is not available at this time.

Bogus Basin Kicks Off An Unusual Ski Season

November 30 - 7:00 a.m.

Bogus Basin opened all 10 of its lifts this past weekend, the start of what’s sure to be a very different ski season. Conditions on the mountain will be unusual this year and it has nothing to do with snow. Read the entire story here.

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