Across the board, a week of grim coronavirus numbers

As an overburdened system prepares to ration health care, Idaho’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to surge.

And that isn’t the only troubling report from the week. Several other key metrics are trending in the wrong direction.

Here are the numbers for the week:

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions. On Wednesday, a record 708 patients were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. ICU admissions climbed to 184, also a record. One day later, the state Department of Health and Welfare authorized crisis standards of care for hospitals across Idaho — an unprecedented designation that would allow hospitals to ration care.

Deaths. Idaho has reported a record number of new COVID-19 deaths over the past seven days: 164 in all. Fifty-five of those deaths were recorded on Wednesday alone. But as Melissa Davlin of Idaho Public Television reported last week, some of these newly reported deaths occurred out of state earlier this summer, and are just now being added to the state’s records.

In total, 2,636 Idahoans have died of COVID-19.

Case numbers. New case numbers continue to climb.

As of Sunday, the state and its seven health districts have reported 242,413 confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases, a 3.6% increase.

The state logged about 1,200 new cases per day — not a pandemic peak, but still an increase over recent weeks. Health officials fear the current case surge could get much worse: Modeling has suggested new cases could exceed 4,200 per day by mid-October.

Child cases. Also increasing.

Over the past week, 1,372 5- to 17-year-olds contracted coronavirus. For the previous two weeks, child cases had been running at about 1,200 per week.

Since March 2020, 201 children have been hospitalized with COVID-19, less than 2 percent of total hospitalizations. No Idaho children have died of COVID-19.

Positive tests. This rate continues to increase — yet another troubling sign.

For the week ending Sept. 11, 16.9% of tests came back positive, the highest rate since early December.

A positive test rate exceeding 5% is considered a sign of an out-of-control outbreak.

Vaccinations. The state finally passed a milestone last week, with more than 50% of eligible Idahoans fully vaccinated.

Vaccination rates, by age group:

  • 12- to 15-year-olds: 26%.
  • 16- and 17-year-olds: 33%.
  • 18- to 24-year-olds: 38%.

More than 13,500 Idahoans completed their vaccinations last week, the highest total since mid-June.

School district thumbnails

Coronavirus case numbers, as self-reported by several large school districts:

  • Boise: 164 positive cases (up from 93 the previous week).
  • Nampa: 127 cases (up from 114 the previous week).
  • Pocatello-Chubbuck: 123 total cases.
  • Coeur d’Alene: 121 positive cases (up from 75 the previous week).
  • West Ada: 66 active cases (down from 168 the previous week).
  • Twin Falls: 63 new cases (down from 80 the previous week).
  • Kuna: 33 COVID-positive students reported Monday (down from 138 on Sept. 13).

Higher ed thumbnails

Self-reported case numbers from the college and university system:

  • Boise State University: 90 new cases (down from 104 the previous week).
  • Idaho State University: 69 new cases (up from 45 the previous week).
  • College of Western Idaho: 28 cases through September.
  • North Idaho College: 27 cases from Sept. 12 through Saturday.
  • Lewis-Clark State College: 19 active cases.
  • College of Southern Idaho: 14 active cases (unchanged from the previous week).
  • College of Eastern Idaho: 12 new cases (up from two the previous week).
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho: 11 active cases.
  • University of Idaho: Four new reported cases (down from 27 the previous week).

 

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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