The coronavirus trendline: The week in review (4.24.20 edition)

As Idaho moves toward trying to reopen businesses — and perhaps reopen some K-12 schools — the state’s coronavirus curve continues to show signs of flattening.

On Friday afternoon, the state Department of Health and Welfare and the state’s health districts reported 1,872 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, up from 1,658 cases a week ago.

This translates to a one-week increase of 13 percent. Case numbers increased by 19 percent the previous week.

Idaho’s K-12 schools and colleges and universities remain closed indefinitely, and Gov. Brad Little’s stay-at-home order remains in effect until next week. But if Little lifts his stay-at-home order, some K-12 schools might reopen for the final weeks of the spring semester, under a series of State Board of Education guidelines.

In announcing a four-step plan to reopen Idaho businesses through the end of June, Little cited the slowdown in the spread of coronavirus. “Our efforts are working to flatten the curve,” he said during a Thursday news conference.

But while the increase in coronavirus cases numbers is slowing, Idaho’s testing traffic has been hit and miss. For much of this week, Idaho reported roughly 200 new test results daily — although the state reported more than 1,000 new test results Thursday. On Thursday, both Little and Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen told reporters that the state is poised to increase its testing capacity.

On Friday, the state reported only 270 new test results.

Other one-week comparisons:

April 17 April 24 One-week change
Deaths 43 54 26 percent
Hospitalizations 151 168 11 percent
ICU admissions 53 71 34 percent
Cases, Ada County 593 642 8 percent
Cases, Blaine County 475 489 3 percent
Cases, Canyon County 187 226 21 percent
Cases, Twin Falls County 110 149 35 percent
Cases, Kootenai County 50 59 18 percent
Tests completed 16,609 19,361 17 percent
Positive test rate (approximate: some patients undergo multiple tests) 10.0 9.7 percent -0.3 percentage points


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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