This week’s coronavirus trendline (7.17.20 edition)

For the fourth successive week, Idaho has reported a record number of new coronavirus cases.

The state and its health districts reported 13,849 confirmed and probable cases on Friday, up from 10,045 cases a week ago.

That translates to a 38 percent increase, compared to 43 percent a week ago.

Ada and Canyon counties also posted one-week highs in new cases, accounting for more than two-thirds of new cases statewide.

In coronavirus headlines from the week:

Blended learning in 2020-21? As state and federal officials continue to push to reopen schools in the fall — and parents and teachers weigh the possible risks — the State Board of Education signed off on blended learning guidelines designed to help schools navigate an outbreak during the academic year.

“The virus will dictate how we deliver education in the fall,” State Board member Kurt Liebich said Wednesday. “All of us want kids back in school, but the reality is… you’re probably going to have to have the ability to deliver blended learning in a way that you weren’t prepared to deliver in the spring.”

Mask debates. Meanwhile, much of the coronavirus debate shifted to the local level.

The Central District Health board of directors approved a facemask mandate for Ada County Tuesday. Southwest District Health — which includes Canyon County — postponed a possible vote on a mask mandate after protesters demanded entry into a virtual meeting Thursday.

A work-from-home Legislature? The state will spend $1.24 million in federal money for technology upgrades that will allow lawmakers to work outside the Statehouse this year, and possibly in 2021.

Spring football. The coronavirus wiped out fall football season at The College of Idaho. On Friday, the college said it will move the football season to spring.

This week’s numbers:

Statewide data July 10 July 17 Change
Cases, confirmed and probable 10,045 13,849 38 percent
Deaths 101 118 17 percent
Hospitalizations 449 570 27 percent
ICU admissions 138 170 23 percent
Patients recovered 3,066 3,827 25 percent
Tests completed 121,640 141,636 16 percent
Health care workers infected 708 855 21 percent
Positive test rate (approximate: some patients undergo multiple tests) 8.3 percent 9.8 percent +1.5 percentage points


Cases in select counties July 10 July 17 Change
Ada 3,812 5,457 43 percent
Canyon 1,777 2,834 59 percent
Kootenai 663 966 46 percent
Twin Falls 812 907 12 percent
Blaine 548 555 1 percent
Cassia 311 345 11 percent
Jerome 289 345 19 percent
Minidoka 253 293 16 percent
Bonneville 177 265 50 percent
Payette 166 228 37 percent
Bannock 163 222 36 percent
Washington 130 144 11 percent
Owyhee 76 123 62 percent
Bingham 94 122 30 percent
Elmore 85 117 38 percent
Nez Perce 108 116 7 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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