Coronavirus trendline, 12.4.20: A week of unsettling milestones

Idaho lurched past a pair of troubling milestones this week, as the coronavirus tightened its grip on the state.

On Sunday, confirmed and probable coronavirus cases passed the 100,000 threshold.

Later in the week, Idaho’s COVID-19 death toll reached the 1,000 mark.

As of Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 108,564 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, up nearly 10 percent from last week.

The death count stands at 1,032, after a one-week record of 123 COVID-19 deaths.

In other coronavirus headlines from the week:

A Thanksgiving week dropoff. With schools closed for all or part of the holiday week, new case numbers dropped sharply in the K-12 system, and on most college and university campuses. (Check back Monday for case numbers from this week.)

Online vs. in-person. Three large Treasure Valley districts ­— Boise, Caldwell and Nampa — will go to online learning through the end of the year. But three of East Idaho’s largest districts — Bonneville, Idaho Falls and Pocatello-Chubbuck — plan to maintain some face-to-face learning. Elsewhere in Eastern Idaho, the Teton County district is shifting from fully online instruction to a hybrid model that includes face-to-face instruction.

Vaccines on the way? Idaho’s K-12 teachers and staff could begin receiving coronavirus vaccines by early to mid-January. For college and university employees, the wait will be longer. The rollout of any vaccines hinges on federal approval. Two companies, Pfizer and Moderna, have sought the go-ahead from the feds for distribution of their vaccines. In trials, both vaccines have produced effectiveness rates exceeding 90 percent.

This week’s numbers (and comparisons with last week):

Statewide data Nov. 27 Dec. 4 Change, Nov. 21-27 Change, Nov. 28-Dec. 4
Cases, confirmed and probable 98,967 108,564 9,068 9,597
Total cases, ages 0-4 1,488 1,603 132 115
Total cases, ages 5-12 3,472 3,834 347 362
Total cases, ages 13-17 5,723 6,244 515 521
Total cases, ages 18-29 26,092 28,243 1,949 2,151
Deaths 909 1,032 63 123
Patients ever hospitalized 3,878 4,342 386 464
Patients ever admitted to ICU 727 805 54 78
Patients recovered, estimated 39,900 42,671 2,668 2,771
Idahoans tested 468,895 487,460 20,894 18,565
Health care workers infected 4,985 5,388 236 403
Positive test rate (based on all cases divided by testing numbers, as reported by the state) 21.1 percent 22.3 percent +1.1 percentage points +1.2 percentage points

 

Top 10 counties, by total cases Nov. 27 Dec. 4 New cases, Nov. 28-Dec. 4 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Ada 24,910 27,461 2,551 75.7
Canyon 15,091 16,409 1,318 81.9
Kootenai 7,277 8,240 963 83.0
Bonneville 7,326 8,146 820 98.4
Twin Falls 6,734 7,092 358 58.9
   
Bannock 4,355 4,908 553 90.0
Madison 4,053 4,444 391 140.7
Bingham 2,697 2,979 282 86.1
Nez Perce 2,233 2,481 248 87.7
Cassia 2,141 2,230 89 52.9
Ten hotspot counties (most daily cases, per 100,000 population) Nov. 27 Dec. 4 New cases, Nov. 28-Dec. 4 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Lewis 194 239 45 167.5
Madison 4,053 4,444 391 140.7
Gem 941 1,078 137 108.1
Clearwater 529 592 63 102.8
Oneida 134 166 32 100.9
   
Bonneville 7,326 8,146 820 98.4
Jefferson 1,484 1,675 191 91.3
Bannock 4,355 4,908 553 90.0
Owyhee 664 737 73 88.2
Nez Perce 2,233 2,481 248 87.7

 

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Read more stories by Kevin Richert »

Republish this article on your website