This week’s coronavirus trendline (7.10.20 edition)

For the third straight week, Idaho has reported an unprecedented seven-day spike in new coronavirus cases.

As of Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 10,045 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, a 43 percent increase from the previous week.

Last week’s increase was 35 percent.

Big increases in three large counties drove the continued surge in cases statewide. Ada, Canyon and Kootenai counties have reported another one-week spike in new cases — as they had the previous week.

Here’s a quick recap of some coronavirus-related education headlines:

State issues reopening guidelines. Despite the sharp increase in cases, Gov. Brad Little said Thursday he expects public schools to reopen for the fall. “We want our students back in school at the end of summer,” Little said Thursday, hours after the State Board of Education approved a set of nonbinding school reopening guidelines.

A warning from the White House. President Trump also weighed in on the reopening issue, saying he wants to see schools reopen — and threatening to withhold federal funding for schools that remain closed.

Boise State reopens. While K-12 reopening issues dominated the headlines, Idaho’s colleges and universities are just a few weeks away from the start of fall semester. Boise State University allowed some employees back on campus after a two-week closure. But in a strongly worded email Friday, university Chief of Staff Alicia Shier Estey reminded employees that masks are required in all campus buildings, and outside if employees cannot maintain social distancing.

“We continue to receive complaints of employees not wearing facial coverings when required,” Estey wrote. “Employees who do not wear facial coverings when required are putting members of the university community at risk. Any behavior that puts members of our community at risk is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.”

This week’s numbers:

Statewide data July 3 July 10 Change
Cases, confirmed and probable 7,031 10,045 43 percent
Deaths 93 101 9 percent
Hospitalizations 355 449 26 percent
ICU admissions 121 138 14 percent
Patients recovered 2,831 3,066 8 percent
Tests completed 100,474 121,640 21 percent
Health care workers infected 558 708 27 percent
Positive test rate (approximate: some patients undergo multiple tests) 7.0 percent 8.3 percent +1.3 percentage points


Cases in select counties July 3 July 10 Change
Ada 2,507 3,812 52 percent
Canyon 1,092 1,777 63 percent
Twin Falls 656 812 24 percent
Kootenai 357 663 86 percent
Blaine 539 548 2 percent
Cassia 262 311 19 percent
Jerome 246 289 17 percent
Minidoka 201 253 26 percent
Bonneville 127 177 39 percent
Payette 122 166 36 percent
Bannock 119 163 37 percent
Washington 113 130 15 percent
Nez Perce 98 108 10 percent



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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