Two coronavirus trends continued over the past week.
Idaho again reported its deadliest week of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, new cases dropped slightly — both statewide and in the coronavirus hotspots of Ada and Canyon counties.
Since Saturday, 43 Idahoans have died from COVID-19, up from 28 deaths the previous week. The state’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 189.
As of Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 20,846 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, a 20 percent increase. Cases increased by 21 percent a week ago.
Recapping coronavirus headlines from the week:
School reopening debate intensifies. The Nampa School District delayed the start of its school year, and will start the year online. The Kuna School District will start the year with a blended model of in-person and online learning. Boise school trustees will decide Monday on a plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year, but on Wednesday, Superintendent Coby Dennis cast doubt on whether the district could start the school year on Aug. 17 with face-to-face learning.
Masks in schools. Students and staff will be required to wear masks in all Ada County schools, after a Central District Health board vote Tuesday. Board members said the county’s previous mask mandate applies to public schools and higher education institutions.
Legislature on deck? Two legislative “working groups” want Gov. Brad Little to convene lawmakers for a special session to address coronavirus-related issues. One possible topic is on a fast track: a bill that would protect schools and other entities from civil lawsuits stemming from coronavirus cases or outbreaks.
Here’s the data for the week. (And comparisons with last week.)
|Statewide data||July 24||July 31||Change, July 25-31||Change, July 18-24|
|Cases, confirmed and probable||17,404||20,846||3,442||3,555|
|Health care workers infected||1,033||1,228||195||178|
|Positive test rate (approximate: some patients undergo multiple tests)||10.7 percent||11.5 percent||+0.8 percentage points||+0.9 percentage points|
|Cases in select counties||July 24||July 31||New cases, July 25-31||New cases, July 18-24|