Coronavirus case numbers flatten — however baby case numbers maintain climbing


As schools return to meeting – and mask requirements are scarce – coronavirus cases among Idaho’s school-age children continued to rise.

Last week the state reported 630 new coronavirus cases in 5 to 17 year olds. That is 21 percent more than in the previous week, 522 youth cases.

These numbers are just a rough sample – it is unclear where these children live or where they go to school. State officials are still trying to find a way to report K-12 case numbers, Idaho Education News reported last week.

Some districts report case numbers. West Ada, for example, reported five active cases on Monday. Classes in the state’s largest district resumed Thursday, under a policy that allows parents to opt out of masking their children.

The Boise School District reported 14 cases between June 8 and August 15. Autumn classes started on August 16.

Overall, the new coronavirus cases fell in the past week – but only the closest.

The state and its seven health districts reported 217,921 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases on Friday, up from 4,820 cases in one week.

A week ago, the new number of cases was 4,827.

Other key metrics were worrying.

As of Wednesday, 457 Idahoans were hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases and 139 Idahoans were in intensive care units. Intensive care unit 140 recordings hit a pandemic peak early last week.

The test positive rate continued to rise, reaching 13.2 percent for the seven-day period ended August 21. That’s the highest rate since early January – and well above the 5 percent threshold that suggests an outbreak has gotten out of hand.

Meanwhile, the vaccination numbers are ticking upwards. The state administered 29,796 doses of vaccine last week, a 19 percent increase.

Forty-eight percent of eligible Idahoans are fully vaccinated. The vaccination rate for 12 to 15 year olds is 20 percent; the vaccination rate for 16 and 17 year olds is 29 percent. For college-age students between 18 and 24 years of age, the rate is 36 percent. For all of these student-age groups, vaccination rates increased 1 percentage point over the week.

Thumbnails for higher education

Boise State University: 56 cases for the week through Thursday, 53 with students. Positive test rate: 5.9 percent.

Idaho State University: 32 cases for the week ending Tuesday, 24 with students.

North Idaho College: 13 self-reported cases since Aug. 22, 10 with students.

Lewis-Clark State College: 11 active cases, including 10 with students.

Brigham Young University-Idaho: Four active cases on Thursday, two of them with students.

College of Southern Idaho: A case for the week ending August 19 involving a faculty member.

No current data is available for the University of Idaho, College of Western Idaho, College of Eastern Idaho, College of Idaho, and Northwest Nazarene University.

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education policy and policy. He has over 30 years of journalism experience in Idaho. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; “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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