Coronavirus trendline, 4.2.21: Vaccination numbers slow, infection rate remains stagnant

As most health districts are opening coronavirus vaccinations to more and more Idahoans, the state’s vaccination numbers slowed this week.

The state administered 77,431 vaccines in the past week — a 17 percent dropoff from last week’s record vaccination rate.

This comes as the vaccine is now available to anyone over age 16, across most of the state. The expanded vaccination guidelines  prompted University of Idaho officials this week to urge students to get a shot. Meanwhile, Boise State University is hosting a vaccination clinic Saturday for residential students.

While the vaccination numbers dropped considerably, new case numbers were virtually unchanged.

As of Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 181,285 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, a 1.1 percent weekly increase. For the past several weeks, new case numbers have hovered at about 2,000 cases per week.

Another trend held this week: The state’s highest infection rates are generally concentrated in Eastern Idaho.

Meanwhile, infection rates crept upward in several of the state’s urban centers, including Ada, Canyon, Kootenai, Twin Falls and Bannock counties.

In other coronavirus headlines from the week:

K-12 cases drop. The Department of Health and Welfare reported at least 71 coronavirus cases in the K-12 system — but that’s the lowest weekly number since early October. Last week’s dropoff coincided with spring break in many of the state’s largest school districts.

A federal funding delay. The Legislature in March decided to withhold tens of millions of dollars in federal coronavirus stimulus funds from schools, saying it would free up the funding after July 1. Some school officials say the delay will cause cashflow issues, and the State Board of Education might step in to address the issue.

Back to work at the Statehouse. The Legislature will return to work Tuesday, after a coronavirus outbreak forced a historic 18-day recess. Don’t expect any new pandemic protocols — but expect a full dash to the finish, as lawmakers try to pass education budgets and far-reaching education policy bills in the next couple of weeks. (Click to The Kevin Richert Podcast for an interview with Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder.)

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

Statewide data March 26 April 2 Change, March 20-26 Change, March 27-April 2
Cases, confirmed and probable 179,294 181,285 2,002 1,991
Deaths 1,955 1,967 13 12
Patients ever hospitalized 7,522 7,601 94 79
Patients ever admitted to ICU 1,288 1,303 13 15
Idahoans vaccinated 417,124 466,384 55,889 49,260
Idahoans fully vaccinated 258,748 298,650 33,590 39,902
Vaccine doses administered 671,075 748,506 92,787 77,431
Total tests administered 1,175,511 1,194,162 22,959 18,651
Health care workers infected 9,968 10,067 119 99
Patients recovered, estimated 100,093 101,115 1,399 1,022
Total cases, ages 0-4 2,689 2,732 32 43
Total cases, ages 5-12 6,734 6,837 106 103
Total cases, ages 13-17 10,302 10,420 120 118
Total cases, ages 18-29 44,616 45,068 496 452

Weekly positive test rate, as reported by the state: 5.1 percent for week ending March 27, unchanged from the previous week.

Top 10 counties, by total cases March 26 April 2 New cases, March 27-April 2 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Ada 48,816 49,395 579 17.2
Canyon 25,453 25,670 217 13.5
Kootenai 17,131 17,243 112 9.7
Bonneville 13,866 14,194 328 39.4
Twin Falls 9,116 9,152 36 5.9
   
Bannock 8,326 8,456 130 21.1
Madison 6,783 6,904 121 43.5
Bingham 4,633 4,689 56 17.1
Nez Perce 3,475 3,485 10 3.5
Bonner 3,084 3,106 22 6.9
   
Ten hotspot counties (most daily cases, per 100,000 population) March 26 April 2 New cases, March 27-April 2 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Madison 6,783 6,904 121 43.5
Bonneville 13,866 14,194 328 39.4
Jefferson 2,763 2,844   81 38.7
Franklin 1,128 1,162 34 35.0
Clark 56 58 2 33.8
Caribou 646 660 14 28.0
Elmore 1,741 1,793 52 27.0
Teton 1,145 1,166 21 24.7
Butte 202 206 4 22.0
Bannock 8,326 8,456 130 21.1
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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