New case numbers slowed this week — slightly — but Idaho’s reported its deadliest week in the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, the state and its seven health districts reported 31,575 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, a 7 percent increase from the previous week.
However, Idaho reported a record 48 COVID-19 deaths in the past week. COVID-19 deaths have doubled statewide since July 29.
Among Idaho’s coronavirus hotspots, case numbers increased by 32 percent in Latah County, 30 percent in Power County, 25 percent in Nez Perce County and 24 percent in Payette County.
In coronavirus headlines from the week:
A wild special legislative session. In a three-day session marked by protests and arrests, the Legislature passed a civil liability law and two elections bills. Lawmakers also pushed to rescind Gov. Brad Little’s March 13 coronavirus emergency declaration, and a number of legislators downplayed the severity of the pandemic.
K-12 reopenings. The West Ada School District will begin its 2020-21 year on Sept. 8 with online learning, a decision that prompted an enrollment spike in the district’s virtual school. As planned, the Nampa School District opened this week to online learning.
Rural issues. Reopening issues weren’t restricted to the state’s largest districts. In remote Custer County, the Mackay School District abruptly moved classes online after a spike in coronavirus cases.
A new year on campus. Seven of the state’s colleges and universities began fall classes Monday, with a blend of face-to-face learning and online classes. (Idaho State University opened on Aug. 17.) The reboot was not without its hiccups. On Friday, Boise State University suspended three fraternities and 18 students over large gatherings that violated campus guidelines.
Here’s the data for the week. (And comparisons with last week.)
|Statewide data||Aug. 21||Aug. 28||Change, Aug. 15-21||Change, Aug. 22-28|
|Cases, confirmed and probable||29,459||31,575||2,147||2,116|
|Estimated, patients recovered||12,359||14,175||1,990||1,816|
|Health care workers infected||1,792||2,004||173||212|
|Positive test rate (approximate: some patients undergo multiple tests)||12.6 percent||12.7 percent||+0.2 percentage points||+0.1 percentage points|
|Cases in select counties||Aug. 21||Aug. 28||New cases, Aug. 15-21||New cases, Aug. 22-28|