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Is stay-home order working? Idaho’s new coronavirus cases drop by about 55% from last week


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April 9 Idaho Reports: Idaho Gov. Brad Little said “we will not flip the switch and go back to what it was before,” when his stay-at-home order expires. | BY IDAHO REPORTS

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) – Gov. Brad Little’s stay-home order may be paying off in the fight to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Idaho.

Last week, the Gem State reported 4,164 COVID-19 test results from Monday through Friday, with 663 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, for a positive percentage of 15.9%.

But those figures dropped in every category this week: 2,769 test results, 296 new cases, 10.7% positive rate. That amounts to a 55.4% reduction in the number of new cases on weekdays when all seven health districts report cases consistently.

Dave Jeppesen, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, said Thursday on Idaho Public Television that the state was still trying to catch up on a backlog of tests last week. Jeppesen expected a more normal flow of tests this week, and the last four days have been steady, with daily totals of 652, 633, 563 and 670.

“It’s not perfect, but we have really flattened the curve,” Little said on Idaho Public Television. “… We believe that the good work that everybody in the state of Idaho is doing is starting to yield dividends, which is less people getting sick, and most importantly fewer people dying.”

Ada County had the largest single-day increase in confirmed coronavirus cases of any county in the state on Friday. Boise-based Central District Health reported 20 new cases in Ada for a total of 515.

And for the fifth straight day, there was at least one new death due to COVID-19. Canyon County announced a fifth fatality, which is now the 25th in Idaho since the first coronavirus death was announced March 26.

Deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Ada (6), Blaine (5), Canyon (5), Cassia (1), Jerome (2), Nez Perce (5) and Twin Falls (1) counties, according to information gathered by the Idaho Statesman from the state’s individual health districts.

With six of the state’s seven health districts reporting at least one update Friday, there were 45 new cases for a total of 1,399 statewide. Additional cases were reported in Blaine (6 new, 452 total), Bonner (1 new, 4 total), Bonneville (1 new, 12 total), Canyon (6 new, 145 total), Cassia (1 new, 7 total), Gem (1 new, 9 total), Jerome (4 new, 28 total), Kootenai (2 new, 44 total) and Twin Falls (3 new, 73 total) counties.

Idaho North Central District did not have any new cases to report, and the coronavirus count in District 6 remains the lowest in the state at 10, according to Southeastern Idaho Public Health.

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 32 of Idaho’s 44 counties: Ada 515, Adams 1, Bannock 5, Bingham 2, Blaine 452, Bonner 4, Bonneville 12, Camas 1, Canyon 145, Caribou 1, Cassia 7, Custer 2, Elmore 16, Fremont 2, Gem 9, Gooding 5, Idaho 3, Jefferson 4, Jerome 28, Kootenai 44, Latah 3, Lincoln 14, Madison 5, Minidoka 4, Nez Perce 19, Owyhee 4, Payette 8, Power 2, Teton 6, Twin Falls 73, Valley 2 and Washington 1.

Idaho has confirmed community spread in 13 counties: Ada, Bingham, Blaine, Bonneville, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Jefferson, Kootenai, Madison, Payette, Teton and Twin Falls.

Health and Welfare reported 13,764 tests had been completed statewide at the end of the day Friday. About 10.2% have been positive for COVID-19. There have been 128 hospitalizations, 35 admissions to the ICU and 150 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.

This article was first published by the Idaho Statesman. It is used here with permission.