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PHD: single-day record of 255 new cases

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | December 4, 2020 1:08 AM

The Panhandle Health District reported a single-day record of 255 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, which brings its total cases to 10,383. There have been 123 deaths, with 112 of those people age 70 or older. There are 7,318 closed cases in the PHD, leaving 3,065 active cases, about 1.25% of the district’s population.

PHD's positivity rate for the virus rose to its highest point, 21%, based on 4,018 PCR tests for the week ending Nov. 28. Its lowest was 4.3% for the week ending Aug. 29. The state's most recent positivity rate fell to 18.3% based on results of 45,045 PCR tests.

Kootenai Health reported that it has 66 COVID-19 patents, with 18 requiring critical care. The hospital continues to operate at capacity levels at 10-15% higher than normal.

Recent COVID-19 hospitalizations were as high as 72, twice the peak volumes Kootenai Health experienced in the summer months.

Last week, it transitioned another unit to a COVID-19 cohort unit, which is all COVID-19 patients, with staff in full, continuous PPE.

“This adds an additional 19 beds available for COVID-19 patients but also takes away beds needed to treat non-COVID-19 patients,” according to a statement from Kootenai Health.

Kootenai Health continues to have staffing challenges due to illness, child care, and other issues.

“Our leadership and staff are actively preparing for a post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases,” the statement said.