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Kootenai County's positivity rate triple the state's

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | June 12, 2021 1:09 AM

Kootenai County’s positivity rate for the coronavirus is nearly triple the state’s.

According to the state’s website, Idaho's positivity rate was 3.9% based on 14,705 PCR tests for the week ending June 5. That’s the lowest it's been in a year.

In comparison, the county’s was 9.4% based on 1,472 tests for the same time period, the highest in four months, and well up from 2.9% on March 27.

“A higher percent positivity indicates higher community transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet,” wrote Katherine Hoyer, Panhandle Health District spokeswoman. “More testing should be done in those areas where we are seeing higher positivity rates so we could have a better idea of how widespread the transmission is occurring. High positivity also tells us it’s not a good time to relax the precautions we’ve been practicing.”

Kootenai County’s vaccination rate of those 12 and over, receiving either one or two doses, is 39.3%, which is the second-highest in the PHD, behind only Benewah County at 40%, per the state website.

The county has earned a reputation for long being reluctant to wear face masks, which has been encouraged by some health officials to help reduce the spread of the virus.

In the past week, the PHD has had 181 new COVID-19 cases and one death attributed to the virus.

Ada County has had 233,795 people 12 and older receive at least one dose of the vaccine, 56.2%. Most Idaho counties are a little under 40 percent vaccination rate. Idaho County, at 26%, has the lowest vaccination rate.

In Idaho, 41.3% of the population age 12 and older has been vaccinated, according to the state’s website.

“We encourage anyone who is experiencing symptoms or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, to be tested,” Hoyer wrote.

She said at-home test kits are available at Walmart or Walgreens if an individual does not have a primary care provider.

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