Coronavirus trendline, 4.16.21: Weekly case numbers fall to a 10-month low

As a Statehouse showdown over emergency powers intensified Friday, Idaho’s new coronavirus case numbers fell to a 10-month low.

As of Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 184,886 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, a 0.9 percent weekly increase. The 1,646 new cases represent the lowest weekly total since the week of June 20-26.

Ada and Canyon counties accounted for nearly half of the week’s new cases.

The dropoff in statewide case numbers comes as the state passed a somber milestone, 13 months into the pandemic. On Tuesday, Idaho recorded its 2,000th COVID-19 death.

In other coronavirus headlines from the week:

The governor’s vetoes. Saying he was looking with an eye to future emergencies — not just a pandemic, but earthquakes, massive fires, or a failure of the regional power grid — Gov. Brad Little announced Friday that he would veto two bills limiting a governor’s power in an emergency. Both House Bill 135 and Senate Bill 1136 would limit the duration of emergency declarations to 60 days. Little said the bills would “limit the state’s ability to help reopen schools and businesses following a catastrophic disaster.”

Both bills passed the Legislature with the two-thirds support needed to override a veto. But the vetoes will almost certainly prolong a legislative session that will hit the 100-day mark on Tuesday. (More coverage of the vetoes from Kelcie Moseley-Morris of Idaho Capital Sun.)

Testing resumes. When schools abruptly went online a year ago, spring testing abruptly went on hold. That’s all changed this year. Students will take the Idaho Standards Achievement Test and the spring Idaho Reading Indicator, and on Tuesday, high school juniors took the SAT on the state’s nickel.

‘We serve kids as they show up.’ Even before the pandemic, Idaho’s school mental health programs were scattered. The pandemic exacerbated the situation, Idaho Education News’ Sami Edge reported in a week-long series on the topic.

“We serve kids as they show up. That is our job,” said Shelley Bonds, an administrator in Nampa. “Our kids are showing up with this — we have to address it. We’re negligent if we don’t.”

‘My guess is it’s probably coming here.’  With proper distancing, Idaho schools can probably operate safely face-to-face this spring, Dr. David Pate said on this week’s Kevin Richert podcast. But Pate, a retired CEO of the St. Luke’s Health System who sits on Gov. Brad Little’s coronavirus task force, remains concerned about the threat of new virus variants. The key, he said, is to buy time while new case numbers remain stable, and get Idahoans vaccinated quickly. “My guess is it’s probably coming here.”

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

Statewide data April 9 April 16 Change, April 3-9 Change, April 10-16
Cases, confirmed and probable 183,240 184,886 1,955 1,646
Deaths 1,993 2,017 26 24
Patients ever hospitalized 7,722 7,943 121 221
Patients ever admitted to ICU 1,320 1,361 17 41
Idahoans vaccinated 518,450 559,968 52,066 41,518
Idahoans fully vaccinated 345,228 399,110 46,578 53,882
Vaccine doses administered 838,855 927,665 90,349 88,810
‘Breakthrough’ cases (vaccinated Idahoans who later test positive) 154
Total tests administered 1,213,463 1,234,070 19,301 20,607
Health care workers infected 10,175 10,303 108 128
Patients recovered, estimated 102,697 104,211 1,582 1,514
Total cases, ages 0-4 2,794 2,837 62 43
Total cases, ages 5-12 6,979 7,067 142 88
Total cases, ages 13-17 10,588 10,698 168 110
Total cases, ages 18-29 45,677 46,114 609 437

Weekly positive test rate, as reported by the state: 4.8 percent for week ending April 10, down from 5.6 percent the previous week.

Top 10 counties, by total cases April 9 April 16 New cases, April 10-16 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Ada 50,044 50,617 573 17.0
Canyon 25,879 26,076 197 12.2
Kootenai 17,349 17,481 132 11.4
Bonneville 14,420 14,593 173 20.8
Twin Falls 9,232 9,309 77 12.7
   
Bannock 8,521 8,577 56 9.1
Madison 7,047 7,092 45 16.2
Bingham 4,758 4,792 34 10.4
Nez Perce 3,511 3,532 21 7.4
Bonner 3,136 3,181 45 14.1
   
Ten hotspot counties (most daily cases, per 100,000 population) April 9 April 16 New cases,

April 10-16

New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Elmore 1,841 1,898 57 29.6
Bonneville 14,420 14,593 173 20.8
Ada 50,044 50,617 573 17.0
Jefferson 2,902 2,937   35 16.7
Madison 7,047 7,092 45 16.2
Latah 2,975 3,019 44 15.7
Fremont 1,104 1,117 13 14.2
Bonner 3,136 3,181 45 14.1
Blaine 2,309 2,330 21 13.0
Boise 332 339 7 12.8

 

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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