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PHD reports 7 more coronavirus-related deaths

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | February 27, 2021 1:00 AM

The Panhandle Health District reported seven more coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, including one in the 18-29 age group, the youngest person whose death was attributed to the virus in the PHD.

That brings the total of COVID-related deaths in the PHD to 261, with 253 of those people age 60 and over. There were no deaths reported Friday.

The state’s coronavirus positivity rate fell to 5.1% based on 21,828 PCR tests for the week ending Feb. 20, the lowest since it was 2.7% on June 13.

PHD’s coronavirus positivity rate rose for the first time in five weeks to 9.3%, up from 7.1% last week, but far below the high of 22.9% on Jan. 2.

Kootenai County’s positivity rate rose for the first time in six weeks to 8.9%, up from 7.6% last week, but well down from a high of 27.1% on Jan. 2.

Kootenai Health reported it had 20 inpatients being treated for the coronavirus on Thursday, the fewest since it had 22 patients on Oct. 15.

Kootenai County has had a total of 16,629 COVID-19 cases, with 15,092 of them closed. That leaves 1,537 active cases, less than 1% of the county’s population.

In Idaho, 419,792 COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed, and 348,041 have been administered as of Friday, per the state’s website. Of the state’s 65 and older population, 43% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

While coronavirus cases are declining, health officials continue to urge people to wear masks, maintain social distance 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.