Wednesday, May 25, 2022

COVID-19 cases creeping up

Staff Writer | May 13, 2022 1:00 AM

COEUR d'ALENE - The positivity rate of COVID-19 continues to rise in North Idaho.

According to the state’s COVID-19 Dashboard, Kootenai County’s positivity rate tripled in three weeks and now sits at 10.5% based on 362 PCR tests for the week ending May 7. It was 3% on April 16.

The Panhandle Health District’s positivity rate nearly doubled in one week, going from 6.6% on April 30 to 12.6% on May 7 based on 554 PCR tests.

The state’s positivity rate remained low, 5%, based on 12,015 PCR tests, but seven weeks ago it reached a two-year low of 1.5%.

Statewide hospitalizations were at 51 as of May 9, the highest since it hit 52 on April 15.

The PHD reported 112 new cases over the past week, and said two people were hospitalized in the district.

Nationally, reported daily cases are averaging 79,000, up 50% over the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Health officials have said they believe the new case count is low because many people are testing at home and not reporting results, or not bothering to test for COVID-19.

Despite the coronavirus increase in Idaho, there has not been a call for a return to masking, as few wear them. And state health officials have not issued calls for residents to get vaccinated or boosted.

Kootenai County’s fully vaccinated rate of those 5 and over is 45%, the state rate is 55%, while the national rate is 71%.