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COVID-19 numbers jump in east Idaho and statewide; 3,600 people have now recovered


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IDAHO FALLS — The number of new novel coronavirus cases in eastern Idaho has jumped once again.

Over the last seven days, the total number of confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases in eastern Idaho jumped from 268 to 336. However, at this point, only 99 people are still symptomatic and are being actively monitored by Eastern Idaho Public Health and the Southeast Idaho Public Health District.

A case is considered probable if a person has not been tested, or a test is pending, and the person has all the symptoms of COVID-19, has come into direct contact with an infected person and developed symptoms within the expected timeframe.

So far the death rate has been fairly low. There have been two deaths in eastern Idaho — one in Bonneville County and one in Bannock County, and only 90 deaths statewide. That’s two more since last week. Nearly all of the deaths have been among people over age 60, which is the demographic most vulnerable to the virus.


Far more people have recovered from the virus. IDHW reports the number of confirmed and probable cases statewide has risen sharply from 3,632 to 4,645 in the last week, but 78% (3,610) of those people have now lived at least 30 days since initial infection and are presumed recovered.

COVID-19 has an extremely high recovery rate, and the vast majority of people who catch the virus will recover at home with no problems. So far, only 300 COVID-19 patients have had to be hospitalized in the entire state. Some of those cases were very severe and involved hospital stays in excess of 50 days, according to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and Idaho Falls Community Hospital officials.

RELATED: COVID-19 patient discharged after nearly 50-day stay at I.F. Community Hospital; possible exposure at Pocatello Perkins

RELATED: COVID-19 patient fully recovers after 55-day stay at EIRMC

Among the biggest developments this past week was Ada County rolling back into Stage 3 of Rebound Idaho due to a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases. Read more about that here.

The first COVID-19 cases have been reported in Idaho’s prison population. Read about that here.

There is no indication that eastern Idaho is going to roll back into Stage 3; however, officials said it remains a possibility in the future if a sharp spike occurs.

To avoid that, EIPH recommends people follow COVID-19 risk-reduction strategies:

  • Staying home if sick.
  • Practicing self-distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals).
  • Wearing a fabric face covering or mask when in public settings where other social
    distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or our sleeve.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer.
  • Limiting close contact with people who are sick.

Since restrictions on gatherings have loosened, EIPH says most new COVID-19 cases are linked to gatherings where people attended while ill and social distancing was not followed.

“We understand that social connections are vitally important to people, but we also want people to take precautions when interacting with others to minimize the opportunities for COVID-19 to be spread,” EIPH Director Geri Rackow said in a news release.

Health officials say to contact them if someones been exposed to COVID-19 or exposure has occurred at your business, organization, event, etc. EIPH can be reached at its COVID-19 hotline at (208) 522-0310. SIPH’s hotline is reached at (208) 234-5875.

For more COVID-19 news, click here.