Idaho’s rural counties see highest death rates, lowest vaccination rates

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho’s rural counties, some of which have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, are struggling to get vaccination rates up.  While half of Idaho adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the majority of Idaho’s counties have not hit that 50 percent threshold. Of Idaho’sContinue reading “Idaho’s rural counties see highest death rates, lowest vaccination rates”

Idaho to begin testing all positive test samples for variants

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Currently, Idaho tests only a small number of positive COVID samples for variants. But as the so-called Delta variant spreads, and vaccination rates remain low in Idaho’s rural areas, that’s going to change. During a Tuesday media briefing hosted by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, state epidemiologist Dr.Continue reading “Idaho to begin testing all positive test samples for variants”

Half of Idaho adults have now received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports As of Friday, 49.9 percent of Idahoans ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 45.8 percent are fully vaccinated, according to data published by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The vaccination rate varies by age group; Three fourths of Idahoans agesContinue reading “Half of Idaho adults have now received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine”

Some Idaho prisons have higher vaccination rates than the general public, National Guard offering help

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports At the height of the pandemic, coronavirus ripped through the Idaho prisons, spreading among the more than 8,400 people housed in state facilities. As of Friday, the current infection rates in the Idaho Department of Correction facilities remained relatively low, like rates in the rest of the state, but vaccinationContinue reading “Some Idaho prisons have higher vaccination rates than the general public, National Guard offering help”

Little reverses McGeachin’s executive order on masks

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Gov. Brad Little has reversed Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s executive order, calling it an “irresponsible, self-serving political stunt.” Little’s new executive order repeals McGeachin’s, and allows local government entities to issue mask mandates once again. Read the full order here. McGeachin, who is challenging Little in the 2022 Republican primaryContinue reading “Little reverses McGeachin’s executive order on masks”

McGeachin, as acting governor, bans mask mandates in schools, other entities

By Melissa Davlin and Ruth Brown, Idaho Public Television On Thursday morning, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin posted on Twitter that, as acting governor, she had issued an executive order banning mask mandates in government entities, including public schools. The Secretary of State’s office confirmed that it had received the order from McGeachin on Thursday morning.Continue reading “McGeachin, as acting governor, bans mask mandates in schools, other entities”

COVID breakthrough cases remain rare in Idaho, but disproportionately affect women

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports During a weekly COVID-19 media briefing, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials offered more information on so-called breakthrough cases of COVID-19 — confirmed infections in people who had been fully vaccinated and were at least two weeks past their final dose of the vaccine. Dr. Kathryn Turner, deputy stateContinue reading “COVID breakthrough cases remain rare in Idaho, but disproportionately affect women”

Public health board member supports long-time immunization tracking system

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports As lawmakers discuss how wary they are of immunizations and programs used to track vaccines, some public health board members are standing up for data collection. Central District Health’s Board of Health met Friday morning and board member Dr. Ted Epperly addressed the issue. Epperly proposed writing a letter toContinue reading “Public health board member supports long-time immunization tracking system”

Former Senator Dean Mortimer hospitalized with COVID-19

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports On the Senate floor Monday, Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, read portions of a letter from former education chairman Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, who described his recent hospitalization due to COVID-19.  “We as a state have focused rightfully on prevention measures,” Mortimer wrote, “all of which I have been diligentContinue reading “Former Senator Dean Mortimer hospitalized with COVID-19”

Idaho vaccination laws already permissive, even before governor’s order

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports While Idahoans have had significant discussion about whether the COVID-19 vaccine would become mandatory, it’s worth note that the state has never mandated a vaccine for adults. There are rules around childhood vaccines for children attending school, but even those have wide-ranging exemptions.  Gov. Brad Little signed an executive orderContinue reading “Idaho vaccination laws already permissive, even before governor’s order”