Coronavirus case rate inches downward

As campuses and schools revisit their pandemic protocols, Idaho’s new coronavirus case numbers continued to trend downward.

Other coronavirus metrics also improved, but new cases involving 5- to 17-year-olds increased slightly.

This week’s numbers:

Cases: A fifth consecutive weekly decrease, but a small one.

The state and its health districts added 8,951 cases to its count, a 2% decrease.

The state has reported 432,707 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases.

Case backlog: Still dissipating.

“Data for January are incomplete,” the state reported on its coronavirus website Monday. “Due to the surge in cases Jan. 10-Feb. 5, approximately 8,200 outstanding positive laboratory results received during that time are pending local public health district review and followup.”

A week ago, the backlog was 17,000 cases.

Child cases: A slight uptick.

For the week ending Saturday, the state counted another 1,385 cases involving school-age children, a 4% decrease.

That’s still well below the omicron variant peak, when nearly 3,000 school-age children contracted coronavirus from Jan. 23 to Jan. 29.

Positive test rate: Sharply decreasing, for the fifth successive week.

For the week ending Feb. 26, 6.2% of coronavirus tests came back positive, down from 10%.

It’s the lowest rate since December, and close to the 5% threshold that suggests a virus is under control.

Hospitalizations: Another week of decreases across the board.

On Wednesday, Idaho reported 175 COVID-19 hospitalizations, a 38% decrease.

The 25 ICU admissions represent a 61% decrease.

Four children were in pediatric beds with COVID-19, down from six the previous week.

Deaths: An increase.

Last week, 58 Idahoans died of COVID-19, up 7%.

Idaho’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 4,788.

Vaccinations: Current vaccination rates, and weekly comparisons.

  • All Idahoans, ages 5 and up: 54%. (Last week, 53.8%.)
  • 5- to 11-year-olds: 16%. (Last week, 15%.)
  • 12- to 15-year-olds: 37%. (Unchanged.)
  • 16- and 17-year-olds: 43%. (Last week, 42%.)
  • 18- to 24-year-olds: 50% (Unchanged.)

Here are the latest booster shot rates:

  • All age groups: 44.2%. (Last week: 43.9%.)
  • 12- to 15-year-olds: 14.5%. (Last week: 13.9%.)
  • 16- and 17-year-olds: 21.7%. (Last week: 21.1%.)
  • 18- to 24-year-olds: 20.1%. (Last week: 19.8%.)

K-12 thumbnails

  • Blaine County: Three active student cases and one staff case last week. The district reported a total of five cases the previous week.
  • Boise: 16 positive cases last week, down from 55. Boise trustees will meet Monday to discuss lifting the district’s mask mandate.
  • Bonneville: No new data available.
  • Coeur d’Alene: Three positive cases last week, down from 18.
  • Idaho Falls: One confirmed case for the week ending Feb. 25, unchanged from the previous week.
  • Kuna: No new data available.
  • Moscow: No cases last week; one case the previous week.
  • Nampa: Five cases last week, down from 13.
  • Pocatello-Chubbuck: Two staff cases reported Friday. A decrease from a total of five cases.
  • Twin Falls: No new data available.
  • West Ada: Two active cases, for a five-day period ending Sunday, unchanged from the previous week.

Higher education thumbnails

  • Boise State University: Eight cases, up from seven the previous week. Four new cases involved off-campus students, two involved residential students and two involved faculty or staff. No students were in campus isolation beds. Positive test rate: 0.7%, up from 0.0% the previous week. Boise State eased its masking requirements last week.
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho: One active student case Thursday. BYU reported one active case on Feb. 28.
  • College of Eastern Idaho: No data available. On Feb. 28, CEI suspended its contact tracing program “until further notice.”
  • College of Idaho: No cases in the past week, down from five the previous week. (229 for the year).
  • College of Southern Idaho: One new student case last week. CSI reported a total of three new cases the previous week.
  • College of Western Idaho: No recent cases. (February total: 16.)
  • Idaho State University: 12 cases for the week ending Tuesday, down from 17 the previous week. Eight current cases involve students.
  • Lewis-Clark State College: No active cases Friday, down from two the previous week.
  • North Idaho College: Six self-reported cases for the week ending Feb. 26.
  • Northwest Nazarene University: One staff case reported last week, down from a total of two cases the previous week.
  • University of Idaho: Five reported cases for the week ending Feb. 25, down from six the previous week. The U of I rescinded its masking requirement last week.


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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