Coronavirus trendline, 3.12.21: As anniversary approaches, new case numbers increase

Nearly a year into the coronavirus pandemic, Idaho’s new case numbers crept back upward this week.

On Friday, the state and its seven health districts reported 175,044 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, a 1.2 percent increase from last week.

Despite the increase in new cases, this metric has remained relatively consistent for more than a month, hovering at or around 2,000 per week.

Gov. Brad Little announces a statewide coronavirus emergency declaration during a March 13, 2020 news conference.

Saturday marks a one-year anniversary in Idaho’s battle with the pandemic. On the morning of March 13, 2020, Gov. Brad Little issued a statewide coronavirus emergency declaration. At a second news conference later that day, Little confirmed the state’s first coronavirus case.

As that one-year milestone approaches, here’s a look at this week’s key metrics, and the state’s peak numbers.

  • Cases: 2,125 this week. One-week peak: 11,279, Dec. 5-11.
  • Deaths: 34 this week. One-week peak: 134, Dec. 5-11.
  • Vaccine doses administered: 74,296 this week, down slightly from the one-week peak, 74,944, from Feb. 27 through March 5.

Heading into the second year of the pandemic, Little struck a reflective but hopeful tone Tuesday. While mourning the loss of more than 1,900 Idahoans to COVID-19, Little said vaccines offer hope for a return to normal. “We have turned a corner in our pandemic fight, and I believe the worst part is behind us,” Little said in a statement.

Later Tuesday, Little kicked off a virtual news conference, as the state Department of Health and Welfare further accelerated Idaho’s vaccine rollout.

Starting Monday, the vaccine will be available to Idahoans over the age of 55 who have health conditions. Starting March 22, the vaccine will be available to all Idahoans over the age of 55.

Starting on March 29, the state will roll out the vaccine to Idahoans over the age of 45, using a similar two-week schedule.

“It’s been a long and tough year, but we’ve made lots of progress,” said Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen, announcing the new schedule.

The faster rollout won’t affect Idaho K-12 teachers and employees, who have been eligible for the vaccine since January. But it could affect higher education employees and students, who have been in the vaccination queue since December.

On Wednesday, Idaho State University announced plans to resume full-time, in-person instruction in August. University officials cited the widespread coronavirus vaccines, which could be available to all adults by the end of May.

Here are this week’s numbers, and comparisons with the previous week:

Statewide data March 5 March 12 Change, Feb. 27-March 5 Change, March 6-12
Cases, confirmed and probable 172,919 175,044 1,880 2,125
Total cases, ages 0-4 2,580 2,617 41 37
Total cases, ages 5-12 6,372 6,487 115 115
Total cases, ages 13-17 9,849 10,013 149 164
Total cases, ages 18-29 43,099 43,627 470 528
Deaths 1,877 1,910 17 33
Patients ever hospitalized 7,179 7,295 114 116
Patients ever admitted to ICU 1,245 1,258 16 13
Patients recovered, estimated 95,808 97,315 2,433 1,507
Total tests administered 1,101,848 1,129,080 21,140 27,232
Health care workers infected 9,697 9,770 139 73
Idahoans vaccinated 271,684 311,860 38,443 40,176
Idahoans fully vaccinated 149,643 187,163 36,491 37,520
Vaccine doses administered 421,337 495,633 74,944 74,296

Weekly positive test rate, as reported by the state: 4.6 percent for week ending March 6, unchanged from the previous two weeks.

Top 10 counties, by total cases March 5 March 12 New cases, March 6-12 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Ada 47,230 47,727 497 14.7
Canyon 24,870 25,010 140 8.7
Kootenai 16,772 16,929 157 13.5
Bonneville 12,427 12,971 544 65.3
Twin Falls 9,029 9,060 31 5.1
   
Bannock 7,955 8,073 118 19.2
Madison 6,427 6,551 124 44.6
Bingham 4,316 4,426 110 33.6
Nez Perce 3,371 3,402 31 11.0
Bonner 3,002 3,037 35 10.9
Ten hotspot counties (most daily cases, per 100,000 population) March 5 March 12 New cases, March 6-12 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Bonneville 12,427 12,971 544 65.3
Madison 6,427 6,551 124 44.6
Jefferson 2,494 2,581 87 41.6
Bingham 4,316 4,426 110 33.6
Benewah 626 639 13 20.0
Bannock 7,955 8,073 118 19.2
Latah 2,799 2,849 50 17.8
Ada 47,230 47,727 497 14.7
Franklin 1,093 1,107 14 14.4
Fremont 1,031 1,044 13 14.2

 

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]

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