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Idaho testing numbers take huge single-day jump, but new coronavirus cases relatively low

Idaho Statesman logo Idaho Statesman 4/24/2020 By Rachel Roberts, The Idaho Statesman

Laboratories conducting COVID-19 tests for the state of Idaho returned 999 completed tests on Thursday, the largest single-day return since April 4.

Perhaps even more significant is the fact that only 3.3% (33 tests) came back positive, which brings Idaho’s overall positive percentage rate down to 9.04%. In the previous seven days, no more than 576 tests were returned in a single day.

It is unclear whether the spike in testing is related to the Crush the Curve campaign, an increase in testing availability across the state or a combination of both. In an email to Niki Forbing-Orr, the public information manager for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the Idaho Statesman posed the question: “Is this evidence that tests are becoming more widely available in Idaho or is there some other explanation?”

“I am not aware of any other explanation,” Forbing-Orr wrote.

The state’s seven health districts reported 33 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday for a statewide total of 1,726. Cases were added in Ada (6 new, 606 total), Blaine (1 new, 478 total), Canyon (7 new, 212 total), Gem (1 new, 10 total), Gooding (1 new, 8 total), Kootenai (3 new, 59 total), Lincoln (1 new, 21 total), Nez Perce (11 new, 46 total) and Twin Falls (2 new, 124 total) counties.

And for the first time in seven days, there were no coronavirus-related deaths reported. The statewide death toll stands at 54.

There also are 115 “probable cases” of coronavirus and 822 “presumed recovered” patients throughout the state, according to IDHW. A probable case is described as an individual who meets clinical criteria and epidemiologic evidence without a confirmed laboratory test.

Health and Welfare reported 19,091 tests had been completed statewide at the end of the day Thursday. There have been 166 hospitalizations, 63 admissions to the ICU and 226 health care workers who have been infected, according to IDHW. The hospital and health care numbers are based on cases with completed investigations into contacts, not the full number of positives.

Idaho has community transmission in 14 counties: Ada, Bingham, Blaine, Bonneville, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Jefferson, Jerome, Kootenai, Madison, Payette, Teton and Twin Falls.

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 32 of Idaho’s 44 counties: Ada 606, Adams 3, Bannock 5, Bingham 3, Blaine 478, Bonner 4, Bonneville 16, Camas 1, Canyon 212, Caribou 1, Cassia 12, Custer 2, Elmore 26, Fremont 2, Gem 10, Gooding 8, Idaho 3, Jefferson 4, Jerome 36, Kootenai 59, Latah 4, Lincoln 21, Madison 5, Minidoka 7, Nez Perce 46, Owyhee 6, Payette 10, Power 2, Teton 7, Twin Falls 124, Valley 2 and Washington 1.


©2020 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho)

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