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Kootenai County coronavirus positivity rate dips to 3.5%

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | March 26, 2021 1:00 AM

Kootenai County’s coronavirus positivity rate fell to 3.5% based on 2,106 PCR tests for the week ending March 20, its lowest in more than six months, according to the state's website. On Jan. 2, its positivity rate was 27.1%.

The positivity rate for the Panhandle Health District fell to 4%, its lowest in nine months and well off the high of 23% on Jan. 2, while the state’s positivity rate hit 5.1% on Thursday, well off its high of 19.1% on Nov. 21.

PHD reported just 17 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. In comparison, on Dec. 9, it had a single-day high of 410 new cases.

There have been 282 COVID-19 related deaths in the PHD, with 272 of those people age 60 or older.

Kootenai Health reported it had 16 coronavirus inpatients on Thursday, with four in critical care. Three months ago, in comparison, on Dec. 23, it had 91 coronavirus inpatients with 28 in critical care.

Kootenai County has had a total of 17,131 coronavirus cases, with 15,831 of those closed, according to the PHD website. That leaves 1,300 total active cases, which is .78% of the county’s population.

Kootenai County's vaccination rate is 29.96%, with 39,691 people receiving at least one dose, according to the state's website. That matches the state's 29% of its population of 1.8 million that has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

While PHD's board lifted its mask mandate on Thursday, some health officials encourage people to continue to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing to help prevent spread of the virus.

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.