Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports It took five years, but the Idaho State Police Forensic Services lab has tested the last previously untested sexual assault kit in Idaho. The final test came after 2016 legislation, pitched by Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, identified a backlog of not just untested sexual assault kits, but kits that hadn’tContinue reading “Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years”

Idaho hits 4,000 COVID deaths

by Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports On Wednesday, Idaho surpassed 4,000 recorded deaths due to COVID-19.  The state hit 3,000 deaths on Sept. 28, meaning the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare recorded 1,000 additional COVID deaths in just 72 days.  In comparison, it took 263 days for Idaho to hit its first 1,000 deaths –Continue reading “Idaho hits 4,000 COVID deaths”

Chronic wasting disease surveillance underway in central Idaho 

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports The arrival of a fatal neurological condition has Idaho Fish and Game officials concerned, but it’s not the only challenge facing Idaho’s deer and elk populations. The illness known as chronic wasting disease was detected this October in two mule deer in central Idaho. The samples were the first positiveContinue reading “Chronic wasting disease surveillance underway in central Idaho “

EMS providers struggle in rural Idaho, OPE reports

Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports  Depending on where Idahoans live, access to emergency medical services is not a guarantee, according to a new report from the Office of Performance Evaluations.  In a letter to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Nov. 16, OPE Director Rakesh Mohan explained “insufficient staffing means patients in these areas face longerContinue reading “EMS providers struggle in rural Idaho, OPE reports”

Workers’ comp has paid more than $2 million connected to COVID

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Legislature considered amending the workers’ compensation law in Idaho to include vaccine injuries, but the state has already paid out more than $2 million for COVID-19 illnesses and vaccine injuries. Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, pitched HB 417, which would require businesses that mandate their employees to be vaccinatedContinue reading “Workers’ comp has paid more than $2 million connected to COVID”

Chairman Wood confirms no Health and Welfare hearing this session

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports While the House Business Committee heard hours of testimony on vaccine and testing mandates, House Health and Welfare Committee chairman Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, spent Monday afternoon in his office, reading nine bills that House Speaker Scott Bedke had assigned to his committee.  “And I’ll not answer any further questionsContinue reading “Chairman Wood confirms no Health and Welfare hearing this session”

Southwest Idaho infant dies of COVID-19

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has confirmed the state’s first pediatric death due to COVID-19.  The child was an infant younger than 1 year old who lived in southwest Idaho and died in October. The department said it will release no other details about the child to protect theContinue reading “Southwest Idaho infant dies of COVID-19”

SWITC again sees demand for more staff amid Medicaid compliance issues

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, a state-run facility with a troubled past, is again seeing a shortage of staff available to help clients, an issue that could jeopardize its licensing and ability to accept federal funding. The Nampa facility, commonly called SWITC, is a temporary home to intellectually disabled andContinue reading “SWITC again sees demand for more staff amid Medicaid compliance issues”

IDOC replaces prison health care provider

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports As coronavirus continues to rage across Idaho’s unvaccinated population, the Idaho Department of Correction has changed health care providers. IDOC is responsible for the health care of roughly 8,000 people in the department’s custody. For more than 10 years, the department contracted with Corizon Health. Corizon was established in 2011,Continue reading “IDOC replaces prison health care provider”

Legal fees over ballot initiative bill will cost taxpayers over $150,000

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports After a citizen’s advocacy group prevailed at the Idaho Supreme Court this year, Idaho taxpayers will pick up the tab for legal fees. The Constitutional Defense Council met Monday to discuss approving funding for the legal expenses accrued after they lost a lawsuit revolving around a ballot initiative bill thatContinue reading “Legal fees over ballot initiative bill will cost taxpayers over $150,000”