Coronavirus trendline, 1.22.21: Statehouse debate intensifies, case numbers decrease

A Statehouse battle over pandemic response is escalating. But most of Idaho’s coronavirus metrics appear to be leveling off.

New case numbers are down significantly from last week — defying forecasts that warned of a post-holiday surge.

Deaths are down significantly as well.

And the same goes for new hospitalization numbers.

As of Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 158,956 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, a 3 percent increase over the past week.

The raw number of new cases — a seven-day total of 4.293 — receded to a three-month low. From Oct. 3 to 9, the state reported 4,017 new cases.

Earlier Friday, however, Gov. Brad Little accused lawmakers of spreading misinformation about Idaho’s pandemic policy — and threatening to undermine the state’s efforts to curb the deadly virus.

Fellow Republicans in the House and Senate are pushing legislation to rescind Little’s coronavirus emergency declarations. Echoing other state officials, Little says the legislation could jeopardize millions of dollars of federal aid, and delay the state vaccine rollout.

At least 1,400 K-12 teachers have received the vaccine, and earlier this week, Little deployed an additional 150 Idaho National Guard troops to help ramp up the state’s efforts.

Lawmakers have challenged the state’s coronavirus response on multiple fronts, proposing legislation to carve out a larger role in future emergencies. One proposal would rescind Little’s restrictions on public gatherings. In response, Little and the State Board of Education have again relaxed spectator limits for school sporting events.

Here are this week’s numbers, and comparisons with the previous week:

Statewide data Jan. 15 Jan. 22 Change, Jan. 9-15 Change, Jan. 16-22
Cases, confirmed and probable 154,663 158,956 6,170 4,293
Total cases, ages 0-4 2,255 2,326 94 71
Total cases, ages 5-12 5,396 5,596 234 200
Total cases, ages 13-17 8,576 8,841 347 265
Total cases, ages 18-29 38,691 39,696 1,592 1,005
Deaths 1,604 1,667 80 63
Patients ever hospitalized 6,269 6,464 274 195
Patients ever admitted to ICU 1,098 1,127 36 29
Patients recovered, estimated 70,163 75,041 5,625 4,878
Total tests administered 923,207 954,658 34,491 31,451
Health care workers infected 8,032 8,418 453 386
Idahoans vaccinated 41,424 68,627 14,618 27,203
Vaccine doses administered 51,233 82,475 23,039 31,242

Weekly positive test rate, as reported by the state: 11.4 percent for week ending Jan. 16, unchanged from the week ending Jan. 9.

Top 10 counties, by total cases Jan. 15 Jan. 22 New cases, Jan. 16-22 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Ada 42,060 43,374 1,314 39.0
Canyon 22,597 23,277 680 42.3
Kootenai 14,725 15,175 450 38.8
Bonneville 11,055 11,281 226 27.1
Twin Falls 8,486 8,621 135 22.2
   
Bannock 7,039 7,200 161 26.2
Madison 5,631 5,738 107 38.5
Bingham 3,921 3,983 62 18.9
Nez Perce 3,191 3,246 55 19.4
Cassia 2,688 2,724 36 21.4
   
Ten hotspot counties (most daily cases, per 100,000 population) Jan. 15 Jan. 22 New cases, Jan. 16-22 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Valley 564 683 119 149.2
Washington 1,045 1,126 81 113.5
Blaine 1,700 1,830 130 80.7
Teton 861 925 64 75.3
Camas 58 63 5 64.6
Boise 261 291 30 54.7
Bonner 2,353 2,525 172 53.7
Oneida 281 295 14 44.1
Canyon 22,597 23,277 680 42.3
Ada 42,060 43,374 1,314 39.0

 

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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