In the month since the state began relaxing a historic stay-at-home order, the rate of spread of the coronavirus has remained more or less stable.
The state and its health districts reported 2,812 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases Friday afternoon, up from 2,639 cases a week ago.
This week’s case numbers increased by 7 percent, down from 10 percent the preceding week.
Since the first week of May, when Gov. Brad Little launched the first phase of his plan to reopen businesses shuttered by the pandemic, the weekly increase in new cases has remained in that 7 to 10 percent range.
From April 25 through May 1 — the week taking in the final days of the stay-at-home order, and the first day of the reopening — Idaho coronavirus cases increased by 9 percent.
While the statewide trendline has remained stable, the numbers fluctuate from county to county. For more than a week, the coronavirus has spread most quickly in the Magic Valley, with local outbreaks linked to food processing plants in Burley and Jerome. In the past week, case numbers increased by 59 percent in Cassia County, 28 percent in Minidoka County and 21 percent in Jerome County. (More about the Magic Valley outbreaks — and its effect on Latinos — from Nicole Foy of the Idaho Statesman.)
On Saturday, Idaho will move into the third phase of the Idaho Rebounds reopening plan. This will allow gatherings of up to 50 people, if social distancing guidelines are met, and will allow movie theaters and bars to reopen.
The reopening plan does not address schools — for this academic year or next year. But this week, Little again said reopening schools was one of his top priorities.
The weekly trends:
|May 22||May 29||One-week change|
|Cases, confirmed and probable||2,639||2,812||7 percent|
|ICU admissions||94||96||2 percent|
|Cases, Ada County||794||811||2 percent|
|Cases, Blaine County||510||512||0.4 percent|
|Cases, Twin Falls County||374||418||12 percent|
|Cases, Canyon County||284||300||6 percent|
|Cases, Jerome County||137||166||21 percent|
|Tests completed||40,370||45,172||12 percent|
|Positive test rate (approximate: some patients undergo multiple tests)||6.4 percent||6.2 percent||-0.2 percentage points|