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Latest COVID-19 metrics for the Boise area signal a big change for the better

Idaho Statesman 10/2/2022 Angela Palermo, The Idaho Statesman

Good news: Your risk of catching COVID-19 in the Treasure Valley has significantly lessened in recent weeks.

So much so that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just moved Ada, Canyon, Boise and Elmore counties into the green zone, or low-risk category, on its COVID-19 community level dashboard.

Last week, those counties were all in the yellow zone, or medium-risk category, where the agency recommends that immunocompromised people talk with their health care providers about whether to wear a mask and take other precautions.

At the low-risk level, the CDC simply suggests staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, getting tested if you show symptoms, and wearing a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19. It also recommends wearing a mask on public transportation.

Data from the CDC shows that cases of the disease have been on a downward trajectory since early August. Now no counties in Idaho are in the high-risk category, or red zone, although some are still at medium risk, including Gem, Valley, Idaho and Lemhi.

Ada, Canyon, Elmore and Boise counties were all listed as high risk on the CDC’s COVID-19 community level dashboard in late July. On Aug. 11, those counties dropped down to medium risk, where they stayed until now.

Here’s what the latest metrics on the CDC dashboard say:

Case rates. Ada County’s share of people with COVID-19 fell from 100 per 100,000 people the previous week to about 77, a 23% decrease. Canyon County’s case rate fell from 88 to about 65, a 26% decrease.

Hospital admissions. In Ada and Canyon counties, COVID-19 hospital admissions decreased from 10.9 per 100,000 people to 9.5.

Hospital beds filled. Staffed inpatient beds in use by confirmed COVID-19 patients in Ada and Canyon counties decreased from 6.4% the previous week to 5.6%.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported a decline in positive COVID-19 test results for last week. Statewide positivity rates decreased from 8.0% for the week of Sept. 11-17 to 7.9% from Sept. 18-24.

Health officials say a rate of 5% or less is desirable. The rate is highly uncertain, though, given the use of at-home tests and the number of people not reporting their illness to authorities.

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©2022 The Idaho Statesman. Visit idahostatesman.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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