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Idaho Democrats cancel in-person convention because of coronavirus

by William L. Spence Of Tribune
| July 31, 2020 11:08 AM

The Idaho Democratic Party has canceled next month’s in-person platform convention in Boise, citing the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Treasure Valley.

Communications Director Lindsey Johnson said the party’s 2018 platform will remain in place until the 2022 state convention.

“With the current mandate in Ada County prohibiting gatherings larger than 50 people, it would be impossible to safely gather 300 to 400 Idaho Democrats for a state convention,” she said in a news release. “We’re confident 2020 will be a strong and exciting year, and look forward to electing and reelecting Idaho Democrats in November.”

The news came as Idaho reported another 567 confirmed and probable cases of the virus, for a total of 20,246 cases since the pandemic began. That’s an increase of 231 percent, or 14,129 cases, since June 30.

As has been the case throughout the past month, Ada and Canyon counties accounted for the bulk of the increase Thursday. Together, they reported 312 new cases.

As the number of cases has soared, so has the number of hospitalizations. A record 236 people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were being treated as of Monday, the latest data available, including 51 in intensive care.

That compares with 42 patients on June 27, with 19 in intensive care.

Regionally, 11 new cases were reported Thursday in north central Idaho and southeastern Washington. Five were in Nez Perce County, four in Whitman County, one in Latah County and one in Garfield County.

Lewis County remains one of only two counties in Idaho with no reported cases of the virus.

Nimiipuu Health announced Thursday that it will test all Nez Perce Tribe wildland firefighters when they return from fire camps this season. All tribal fishermen headed to the Columbia River to exercise their tribal fishing treaty rights will also be tested.

Washington reported another 818 coronavirus cases on Thursday, surpassing 55,000 for the first time. That includes 1,564 deaths, up nine from the previous day.

Globally, Johns Hopkins University reported more than 17.1 million COVID-19 cases, with 669,701 deaths. That’s an increase of more than 213,000 cases from the day before — down from a record 289,000 reported Wednesday — with nearly 5,000 new deaths.

Spence may be contacted at bspence