Friday, September 18, 2020
St. Luke’s Dashboard Provides Wood River Stats
St. Luke’s air ambulance has transferred some of the Wood River Valley’s COVID patients to St. Luke’s Magic Valley.
Sunday, August 9, 2020



Wood River Valley leaders and residents now have a new tool to inform decisions and behaviors when it comes to the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Luke’s Health System officially launched its COVID-19 Data Dashboard this weekend.

Idaho posted nearly as many new cases of coronavirus--573--on Saturday as Blaine County has seen through the entire epidemic. The state's total so far? 24,495.

The online dashboard will allow users to learn what’s happening specifically at St. Luke’s Wood River, in addition to St. Luke’s other seven hospitals.

It should allow school officials and others to get a clearer idea of what’s happening with COVID locally.

“We understand how important current and relevant data is to inform decisions and behaviors, especially as rapidly as things are changing,” said Michelle Bartlome, public relations manager for St. Luke’s Magic Valley and St. Luke’s Jerome. “While this does not provide a complete picture for Idaho as a whole because it’s only St. Luke’s data, in many smaller communities it is a large piece of the puzzle.”

The data will be updated daily on St. Luke’s website. The Data Dashboard link is

Blaine County held steady at 575 cases on Saturday.

Using the Dashboard, Blaine County residents can hit the Wood River button to see how many COVID positive patients were admitted to the hospital the day before, how many were admitted for all reasons and what percentage of hospitalized patients are COVID-19 patients.

On Saturday, the chart showed that five patients were admitted to the hospital on Friday—none for COVID-19 related reasons. None of the patients currently hospitalized in Wood River have COVID-19.

St. Luke’s McCall admitted eight patients, none with COVID. And St. Luke’s Twin Falls admitted 84 patients, seven with COVID. COVID patients make up 8 percent of that hospital’s patients.

Boise admitted 19 COVID patients of 161. COVID patients make up 11 percent of its hospitalizations.

“Businesses and schools can use the information to monitor trends and current community spread,” said Bartlome. “The dashboard includes the option to view the data over the entire outbreak or drill down more granularly by the last 30 or 15 days. You can also narrow it down by community. This provides the user with the most relevant data to use to inform decision-making on things like whether to open schools in person or bring employees back to the office.”

The dashboard includes rolling averages and trend lines, which can be particularly helpful for the area in which a particular hospital is located. But it does not represent the state as a whole with all the information it culls from other hospitals.

The data is consistent with what St. Luke’s Health Systems has been providing to federal, state and regional health agencies since March.

One thing the dashboard does not currently provide is how many people whose primary residence  is elsewhere are testing positive at St. Luke’s Wood River, Sterling Urgent Care and other local testing sites.

That is something Wood River Valley residents have continually asked for since many of those positive results might belong to second homeowners who spend a lot of time here or even out-of-state visitors who may be spending most of the summer season in the Sun Valley area.

Those numbers are needed to paint a clear, thorough picture of what’s happening in Blaine County, they say.

St. Luke’s is not providing that information at this time, Bartolome said. “But the information on the dashboard may evolve as St. Luke’s works to build out the dashboard over time.”


The Dashboard offers:

  • Testing by Day graph, which shows tests administered, tests pending and tests positive.
  • Percent of Patients Testing Positive, which shows a 14-day average rather than a single-day positivity rate. A 14-day average is a common approach to tracking the positivity rate, more accurately reflecting how the rate is trending over time than a single-day positivity rate.

    The World Health Organization recommends that an area maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or lower for at least two weeks before relaxing physical distancing practices.

  • Percent of Patients that are COVID. This does not necessarily reflect the presence of the virus in a local community, however, because when a hospital’s COVID-positive limit is reached, additional COVID-positive patients may be transferred to another St. Luke’s hospital.

The number of COVID-positive patients in St. Luke’s McCall, for instance, will always be low because doctors and nurses there only briefly care for the hospitalized patients before transferring them to a St. Luke’s hospital in the Treasure Valley.


Idaho posted 573 new cases on Saturday--nearly as many as the number of cases Blaine County has seen since March. The state's total number of cases keeps growing by leaps and bounds--to 24,495.

The state gained six new deaths for a total of 235.

Blaine County held steady at 575 cases.


A Great Basin Type 3 Incident Team took charge of the 1,600-acre Phillips Creek Fire eight miles north of Fairfield today.

Afternoon winds caused large upticks in the fire behavior on Saturday and the fire was active through the night. It ha burned at least one building and parts of the Soldier Mountain Ski Area, including a bridge on the ski hill. The lodge and lifts have been spared thus far.

Numerous other structures are threatened in the Phillips Creek and Free Gold Creek areas, as well as outbuildings along Soldier Creek Road. Evacuations have been put in progress from Soldier Mountain ski area to Couch Summit.

The opening of Soldier Mountain's new mountain bike trails were cancelled this weekend as smoke from the lightning-caused fire shrouded the ski area. The fire was first reported on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Afternoon winds are expected to continue to pose problems for firefighters. Firefighters are trying to keep the fire south of the Salt Bounds Road and west of Owens Creek.

Northern portions continue to be the most active in the Free Gold drainage and northeast portion towards Owens Creek. The fire is 5 percent contained; firefighters hope to contain it by Monday, Aug. 10.

The Lake Walcott Fire nine miles east of Rupert is now estimated at 500 acres and forward progression has stopped. Crews expect to contain it by midnight tonight and control it by 6 p.m. Monday.


Did you feel the bump? Yup, a 4.2-magnitude earthquake struck near Stanley Lake Creek west of Sawtooth Lake about 8:10 p.m. Friday. It’s said the quake could be felt as far away as Boise.


Nope, we don't have them yet.


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