Oh, we’re back to this again: Test positivity climbs to 8 percent for first time since January

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports

Idaho recorded 439 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest one-day total logged since March, and is nearing 200,000 total cases over the course of the pandemic. 

Source: coronavirus.idaho.gov

The state’s positivity rate has climbed to 8 percent for the first time since January, and the number of confirmed cases with the Delta variant is now at 70, which is more than twice what it was last week. Every one of the state’s public health districts has seen an increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive, with District 2, in Idaho’s north central region, seeing the highest positivity rate last week at 12.7 percent.

Right now, the counties with the highest incidence rates in the state are Lewis, Adams, Twin Falls, Shoshone, and Boise. 

The number of patients admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 has more than doubled since the beginning of July, with hospitals reporting 49 patients statewide as of Monday. That number is still half of what it was during the pandemic’s peak in December, but those numbers are continuing to trend up, not down. 

Last week, IDHW officials reiterated what national public health professionals have said for weeks: People who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 account for nearly all of the those hospitalizations. “This has really become a pandemic for those who are unvaccinated,” IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen told reporters on July 20.

This week on the Idaho Reports Podcast, I spoke to Chris Owens of Idaho State University’s Kasiska Division of Health Sciences about efforts to get college students vaccinated. Listen here.

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