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Coronavirus positivity rate keeps falling in North Idaho

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | February 19, 2021 1:00 AM

The coronavirus positivity rate in Idaho, the Panhandle Health District and Kootenai County continues to fall.

Idaho’s coronavirus positivity rate was 5.8% based on 24,627 PCR tests for the week ending Feb. 13, according to the state’s coronavirus website on Thursday. That’s the lowest since it was 2.7% on June 13, and substantially down from a high of 19.1% for the week ending Nov. 21.

The PHD’s coronavirus positivity rate was 8.1% based on 3,458 PCR tests for the week ending Feb. 13. That’s the lowest since it was 7.3% on Oct. 10, the fourth straight week of decline, and well down from a high of 22.9% on Jan. 2.

Kootenai County’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 8.7%, the lowest since it was 8.3% on Oct. 10. It has declined six straight weeks since it reached a high of 27.1% for the week ending Jan. 2.

The PHD reported 40 new cases on Thursday, while Kootenai County had 26. In comparison, on Jan. 16 PHD reported 153 new cases, while Kootenai County had 120 of them. That’s about a 75% decline in new cases in a month.

Kootenai County had 16,433 coronavirus cases, with 14,506 of them closed, PHD reported. That means about 1.1% of Kootenai County’s population still has the coronavirus.

Kootenai Health reported it had 27 coronavirus cases on Thursday, with six in critical care. The last time it had as few as 27 COVID cases was Oct. 22.

The PHD reported 252 coronavirus-related deaths, with one on Thursday. Of those, 220 were people age 70 and over, 25 in the 60-69 age group, five in the 50-59 age group, and two in the 30-39 age group.

According to the state as of Thursday, 124,281 people in Idaho have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 76,519 have received the second dose and are considered fully vaccinated.

In Kootenai County, 19,103 people, 11.5% of its population, have been vaccinated, according to the state website.

Health officials continue to urge people to wear masks, maintain social distance of at least 6 feet, and wash hands often.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, primarily older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death.