Coronavirus case numbers, hospitalizations continue summer surge

Coronavirus case numbers continued their seven-week surge — and hospitalizations reached a troubling peak as well.

On Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 213,101 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases.

The 4,827 new cases for the week represent a tenfold increase from the first week of July, and the highest seven-day total since mid-January. But state leaders say the situation could get far worse. Modeling suggests the weekly case numbers could skyrocket to 30,000 by October.

Other numbers from the week:

Hospitalizations: A continued surge, prompting health care officials to begin talking again about the possible need to impose crisis standards of care, essentially rationing care. Hospitals Wednesday reported 416 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, the highest number since Dec. 22. Hospitals reported a record 140 COVD-19-related ICU admissions Wednesday.

Test positivity rate: Another number that continues to climb. For the week ending Aug. 14, 12.8 percent of COVID-19 cases came back positive, the highest rate since early January. Any rate above 5 percent suggests an outbreak that is out of control.

Child cases: One more upward trend. As schools continue to reopen for the fall, K-12-aged students accounted for more than a tenth of the week’s new cases. All told, the state reported 522 cases in 5- to 17-year-olds, up from 415 cases the previous week.

Vaccinations: A possible glimmer of hope, albeit small. For the past week, the state administered 24,953 COVID-19 vaccines — still far below the peak vaccination numbers from the spring, but a one-week increase of 28 percent.

In all, 47 percent of eligible Idahoans are fully vaccinated, including 19 percent of 12- to 15-year-olds, 28 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds and 35 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds.

State leaders are continuing to urge Idahoans to get the vaccine in order to slow the spread of the contagious coronavirus delta variant. In a guest opinion last week, Gov. Brad Little said vaccinations can help the state “minimize or eliminate disruptions in the delivery of education.”

On Monday, the federal Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

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]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday