For the second time in three days, Idaho has set a record for new confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Idaho confirmed 263 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, including 10 new cases in Southeast Idaho. Over the course of three days, the state has confirmed 686 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 5,148 cases.
Counting 20 additional probable cases, Friday’s COVID-19 total was 283 new cases, according to Idaho Public Health.
Southeast Idaho’s new confirmed cases included two in Bannock County, six in Bingham County, one in Caribou County and one in Franklin County, bringing the region’s total to 172 confirmed cases, with 117 of those patients now recovered.
The new Bannock County cases include a woman in her 40s who had contact with a confirmed case and is recovering at home and a man in his 60s who had contact with a confirmed case and has been hospitalized.
The new Bingham County cases include a man in 50s who was infected through community transmission and is recovering at home, a woman in her 40s who traveled and is recovering at home, a woman in her 20s who traveled and is recovering at home, a man in his 50s who traveled and is recovering at home, a man in his 40s who traveled and is recovering at home and a woman in her 70s who traveled and is recovering at home.
The new Caribou County case involves a man in his 50s who had contact with a confirmed case and is recovering at home. The new Franklin County case involves a woman in her 50s who traveled and is recovering at home.
The state’s peak for new confirmed cases of the coronavirus had held at 222 cases reported on April 2, before 223 new cases were confirmed on June 24. The state has confirmed 90 COVID-19 deaths.
Officials involved in statewide testing for COVID-19 with Crush the Curve Idaho said in a Thursday night press release they’re preparing to respond to what could be a “major spike in COVID-19 cases in the coming days and weeks.”
“Since launching the assessment in mid-April, we’ve had more than 40,000 people complete it,” Tina Upson, executive director of the nonprofit organization, said in the press release. “So far this week our daily number of viral assessments is more than double what we saw last week, which was more than double from the week before that. So when we see a trend like this we know we have to get ready to deploy more resources.”
Upson said the organization has ramped up its testing capacity to 16,000 tests per day, but she’s concerned that won’t be sufficient to meet Idaho’s needs. Upson said Idaho ranks last among U.S. states for per-capita testing capacity.
She said the organization is preparing to launch two additional “pop-up” testing sites in the Treasure Valley. She said the organization is reprioritizing its resources to focus on the active virus test rather than the antibody test and will place antibody testing at the 10-Mile Crossing site in Meridian on hold while tending to the Treasure Valley spike.