Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Idaho Marks a Hundred Days of COVID Cases
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Martha Merizon and Ursula Hinson are still taking precautions, wearing masks and gloves Friday at J McLaughlin dress shop’s first in-person Sip and Shop since the pandemic started. Friday’s purchases benefited The Hunger Coalition.
   
Monday, June 22, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Sunday marked 100 days since Idaho confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Friday, March 13.

And, after weeks in which the number of new cases declined, they’re on the upswing again statewide—and health officials are worried.

Idaho’s number of coronavirus cases passed the 4,000 mark on Saturday—the last day new cases were reported.

The state added 135 new cases that day for a total of 4,006. That’s the highest number of new cases since the state began tracking cases. The state has seen more than a hundred new cases each of the past three days.

Before that, the last time Idaho topped 100 new cases was April 3.

Health officials say the new cases are cause for concern.

More than six dozen young adults are believed to have exposed others in Boise and Meridian bars while infectious.

In response, representatives of Central District Health Department met with bar and nightclub owners over the weekend, asking them to make sure staff are wearing face coverings and asking customers to wear face coverings. They’re also being asked to enforce physical distancing and occupancy restrictions and educate customers on responsible socializing.

A co-owner of Humpin’ Hannah’s in downtown Boise responded that they will hold a Mask-er-Rade party.

Current hot spots are Ada County, which now has 1,166 cases, followed by Canyon County with 433.  Twin Falls County is quickly catching up to Blaine County with 511 cases.

Blaine County reported two new cases on Saturday for a total of 519. It reported two additional new cases on Thursday after eight days without a new case.

Youth between the ages of 18 and 29 have far more cases followed by those between 30 and 49. More females have become infected than male.

Twenty-five states, including Idaho’s neighboring states of Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Utah,  Wyoming, and Montana have seen an increase in new reported cases over the past two weeks as they’ve continued to loosen COVID restrictions. In fact, Utah broke its daily record with 586 new cases on Friday.

Many of the surges are occurring in places that didn’t have big outbreaks earlier, leading researchers to speculate that residents don’t see the need to wear masks and maintain social distancing because they didn’t see much evidence of the bogeyman before.

Gov. Brad Little plans to hold an AARP Telephone Town Hall on COVID-19 at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24. He will hold a press conference on his Idaho Rebounds initiative at noon Thursday, June 25.

MOUNTAIN HUMANE WELCOMES BACK VOLUNTEERS

Dog training classes are resuming outside at Mountain Humane. Email Vic Gasser at vgasser@mountainhumane.org for more information.

The animal welfare campus also is welcoming back its volunteers.

ZOO BOISE REOPENS

Zoo Boise has opened. And, while animals don’t need to use hand sanitizer, visitors do.

Visitors must also follow a one-way path around the zoo, allowing at least six feet between groups. Advance tickets must be purchased online in advance.

A few exhibits are closed, including the Bat House, carousel, Penguin Pavilion and Small Animal Kingdom.

TIME AT HOME

Idahoans actually had the third smallest increase—6.2 percent--among the states when it comes to the time they spent at home during the five weeks through June 12.

THE MYTH OF MORE ELBOW ROOM

Thinking of escaping from big city to escaped the coronavirus?

Lack of population density does not make an area less prone to the spread of COVID-19, according to a new study by the University of Utah.

Researchers reviewed infection and death rates across 913 U.S. metropolitan counties through 18 weeks of the pandemic. And the results indicate that population size, and not density, more closely responds with mortality rates.

Findings published in the Journal of the American Planning Association showed that urbanized counties with higher densities had significantly lower death rates, which researchers said might be explained by better social distancing and access to health care.

 

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