This week’s coronavirus trendline: (5.22.20 edition)

(UPDATED, 6:39 p.m., with health district figures.) 

On Friday afternoon, Idaho reported its largest one-day increase in coronavirus cases in more than a month.

The state reported 55 new, confirmed cases Friday, the most since April 20, when the state reported 57 new cases. But the increase is even higher, when additional numbers from the health districts are added in. These numbers indicate a one-day increase of 103 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases.

Overall, the state and its health districts reported 2,639 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases Friday afternoon, up from 2,390 cases a week ago. Case numbers increased by 10 percent this week, compared to an 8 percent increase the previous week.

But Friday’s uptick in cases could be attributed to a one-day spike in test results. The state reported more than 1,000 test results Friday, an uncommonly high increase.

The state’s coronavirus testing response has come under closer scrutiny this week.

As of Friday, Idaho’s coronavirus testing per capita ranked lowest in the nation, Boise State Public Radio reported. During a news conference Friday, Gov. Brad Little and state health officials unveiled a strategy that could ramp up testing.

“We will need to build incredible testing capacity plus the ability to respond to all of those results with appropriate clinical and public health follow-up care,” said Dr. Christopher Ball, chief of the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories and co-chair of Little’s coronavirus testing task force.

Little has scheduled another news conference for Thursday, to provide an update on Idaho Rebounds, his four-step plan to reopen businesses over a span of two months. Idaho could move into the third phase of the plan late next week — which would allow the public and private gatherings of up to 50 people, and discontinue a 14-day self-quarantine for people arriving in Idaho.

The Idaho Rebounds plan does not directly address schools.

Other weekly trends:

May 15 May 22 One-week change
Deaths 73 79 8 percent
Hospitalizations 213 225 6 percent
ICU admissions 89 94 6 percent
Cases, Ada County 770 794 3 percent
Cases, Blaine County 508 510 0.4 percent
Cases, Twin Falls County 310 383 24 percent
Cases, Canyon County 277 284 3 percent
Cases, Jerome County 88 139 58 percent
Tests completed 35,485 40,370 14 percent
Positive test rate (approximate: some patients undergo multiple tests) 6.7 percent 6.4 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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