This week’s coronavirus trendline (5.15.20 edition)

As Idaho takes another step to reopen businesses Saturday, the state has reported a slight uptick in coronavirus cases.

But the state is also reporting more coronavirus test results, which could be a factor in the increased case numbers.

On Friday, the state Department of Health and Welfare reported 34 new, confirmed coronavirus cases — the largest one-day increase since April 20. But the uptick in cases coincided with a relatively large number of new test results — a one-day spike of 939 test results.

Overall, weekly numbers mirrored recent trends.

On Friday afternoon, the state and its health districts reported 2,390 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, up from 2,207 cases a week ago. Case numbers increased by 8 percent this week, unchanged from the previous week.

Gov. Brad Little announced Thursday that the state will adopt the second stage of Idaho Rebounds, a four-step plan to reopen businesses over a span of two months. The plan doesn’t directly address schools, but the second stage calls for public and private gatherings of fewer than 10 people. This limitation applies to classroom sessions and public events such as graduation ceremonies.

During a Thursday news conference, Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen acknowledged the short-term increase in case numbers. But he pointed to other, more encouraging coronavirus trends. Long-term case numbers are stable, and emergency room and ICU admission rates are low.

Other weekly trends:

May 8 May 15 One-week change
Deaths 67 73 9 percent
Hospitalizations 206 213 3 percent
ICU admissions 86 89 3 percent
Cases, Ada County 733 770 5 percent
Cases, Blaine County 499 508 2 percent
Cases, Twin Falls County 248 310 25 percent
Cases, Canyon County 272 277 2 percent
Cases, Jerome County 67 88 31 percent
Tests completed 31,628 35,485 12 percent
Positive test rate (approximate: some patients undergo multiple tests) 7.0 percent 6.7 percent -0.3 percentage points
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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