COVID cases rise again in Idaho, but undercount is likely

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Coronavirus cases are again on the rise in Idaho, according to data from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, but the numbers are likely an undercount.

The statewide positivity rate was 9% on June 5, Boise television station KTVB reported. That’s above the state’s goal of 5% and is consistent with community spread of the virus, said Dr. David Pate, former CEO of St. Luke’s Health System.

“Those are undercounted because so many people are doing home tests which don’t get reported,” said Pate. “Or at this point, people are thinking, ‘It’s no big deal even if I have it,’ and so they are just not even testing. So we know that whatever we see in the state numbers reported, it’s a minimum.”

There were about 208 new cases for every 100,000 Idaho residents over the past two weeks according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. One in every 895 people in Idaho tested positive in the past week.

Hospitalizations are also increasing, with 94 Idaho residents hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 as of June 5th, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

“So every indicator is telling us that we are beginning a new surge,” said Pate.

Just under 56% of Idaho residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the CDC.