This week’s coronavirus trendline (5.29.20 edition)

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
Deaths 79 82 4 percent
Hospitalizations 225 240 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


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]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday