A reporting delay? Or an uptick? New coronavirus case numbers increase

Idaho reported an increase in new coronavirus cases last week.

But it might not necessarily reflect a worsening infection rate. Case reports generally slow during holidays — and that might skew the comparisons between last week and the preceding Thanksgiving holiday week. In other words, this week’s numbers might reflect some catchup from the holiday.

Either way, last week’s new case numbers — for the overall population, and for 5- to 17-year-olds — are down from two weeks ago, the week before Thanksgiving.

As of Saturday, the state has reported no cases of the new omicron variant.

Here are the latest numbers:

New cases. On Saturday, the state and its health districts reported 308,940 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases.

The 3,138 new cases represent a 28% increase from Thanksgiving week.

Child cases. The state reported 361 new cases involving school-aged children, a 32% increase from the holiday week.

Case numbers for 5- to 17-year-olds had decreased steadily for the nine previous weeks.

Six children were hospitalized with COVID-19, up from three the previous week.

One Idaho child has died of COVID-19.

Hospitalizations. A two-month downward trend continues, but slightly.

On Wednesday, the state tallied 294 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 92 ICU admissions, down 7% and 2%, respectively.

Crisis standards of care remain in place in the Panhandle Health District, covering five counties in North Idaho.

Deaths. The state reported 71 new COVID-19 deaths last week, a 34% increase.

This brings Idaho’s COVID-19 death toll to 3,970.

Positive test rates. Unchanged.

For the seven-day period ending Nov. 27, 7% of coronavirus cases came back positive.

The positive test rate had decreased for 10 successive weeks.

State officials say a 5% rate suggests a virus is under control. But the test rate has exceeded this threshold since early July.

Vaccinations. Still slowing. While 3,761 Idahoans completed their vaccinations last week, that’s a 22% weekly decrease.

Current vaccination rates:

  • Overall: 57%. (Last week: 56.7%.)
  • 12- to 15-year-olds: 33%. (Unchanged.)
  • 16- and 17-year-olds: 40%. (Unchanged.)
  • 18- to 24-year-olds: 46%. (Last week: 45%.)

Child vaccines slowed sharpy. For the week, 2,462 5- to 11-year-olds received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, a 55% drop.

In all, 17,962 children have received their first Pfizer dose.

K-12 thumbnails

The current case numbers, as reported by the state’s largest school districts. (Case reports and numbers slowed the preceding week, as schools closed for Thanksgiving.)

  • Boise: 42 positive cases last week.
  • Bonneville: 10 active infections.
  • Coeur d’Alene: 25 positive cases last week.
  • Idaho Falls: 12 cases from Nov. 15 through Nov. 26.
  • Kuna: Six positive cases Friday.
  • Moscow: Three new cases.
  • Nampa: 13 cases for the week ending Nov. 27.
  • Pocatello-Chubbuck: Nine cases Friday.
  • Twin Falls: Three new student cases.
  • West Ada: Seven active cases.

Higher education thumbnails

Here are the latest campus numbers. (College and university numbers also slowed considerably the preceding week, as campuses closed for Thanksgiving.)

  • Boise State University: 35 campus cases, 31 involving students, four involving staff. Positive test rate: 4.2%, up from 2.5%.
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho: 20 active cases Sunday.
  • College of Idaho: Eight recent student and staff cases, with seven students in isolation. The college has reported 63 total cases during fall semester.
  • College of Eastern Idaho: No new data available.
  • College of Southern Idaho: Two new cases last week, both involving staff or faculty.
  • College of Western Idaho: No recent cases reported.
  • Idaho State University: 11 total cases for the week ending Tuesday.
  • Lewis-Clark State College: Two active cases.
  • North Idaho College: One self-reported case last week, down involving an employee.
  • University of Idaho: One reported case for the week ending Nov. 26.

Editor’s note: School districts and colleges and universities do not necessarily count and report cases identically. The case numbers measure trends within a district, college or university, but they don’t provide comparisons between schools or districts.


Kevin Richert

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 "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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