Coronavirus case numbers continued to slow this week, nearing a four-month low.

On Friday afternoon, the state and its seven health districts reported 162,455 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, a 2.2 percent increase from last week.

The week’s 3,499 new cases dipped below the 4,000 mark for the first time since early October.

The continued decrease in case numbers comes as Gov. Brad Little and the Legislature continue a Statehouse tug of war over coronavirus response and governing powers. Legislators have floated several proposals to lift the state’s 10-month-old coronavirus emergency order — and this week, the House passed a proposal to rescind Little’s limits on public gatherings, including spectators at school sporting events. Removing the emergency order could disrupt Idaho’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said Tuesday.

In other coronavirus headlines:

Ybarra proposal draws fire. State superintendent Sherri Ybarra is working on a bill that would prioritize in-person instruction, except in an emergency. The Legislature hasn’t heard the bill yet, but some superintendents are already pushing back, calling it an affront to local control.

Streamlining the vaccine process. Little issued an executive order Thursday requiring medical providers to better report on coronavirus vaccination rates and vaccine inventories. The move comes as K-12 teachers and staff continue to receive vaccines, and as Idahoans over the age of 65 can begin signing up for shots.

MIS-C cases. Health and Welfare reported an additional seven cases of a rare disorder, associated with COVID-19. In all, 16 Idahoans have been diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. The patients, ranging in age from 3 to 16 years old, were all hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Here are this week’s numbers, and comparisons with the previous week:

Statewide data Jan. 22 Jan. 29 Change, Jan. 16-22 Change, Jan. 23-29
Cases, confirmed and probable 158,956 162,455 4,293 3,499
Total cases, ages 0-4 2,326 2,381 71 55
Total cases, ages 5-12 5,596 5,802 200 206
Total cases, ages 13-17 8,841 9,100 265 259
Total cases, ages 18-29 39,696 40,516 1,005 820
Deaths 1,667 1,725 63 58
Patients ever hospitalized 6,464 6,659 195 195
Patients ever admitted to ICU 1,127 1,165 29 38
Patients recovered, estimated 75,041 81,034 4,878 5,993
Total tests administered 954,658 987,111 31,451 32,453
Health care workers infected 8,418 8,774 386 356
Idahoans vaccinated 68,627 94,071 27,203 25,444
Idahoans fully vaccinated (two doses) 13,732 20,301 3,993 6,569
Vaccine doses administered 82,475 114,372 31,242 31,897

Weekly positive test rate, as reported by the state: 8.3 percent for week ending Jan. 23, down 2.5 percentage points from the week ending Jan. 16.

Top 10 counties, by total cases Jan. 22 Jan. 29 New cases, Jan. 23-29 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Ada 43,374 44,369 995 29.5
Canyon 23,277 23,709 432 26.8
Kootenai 15,175 15,679 504 43.5
Bonneville 11,281 11,451 170 20.4
Twin Falls 8,621 8,736 115 18.9
   
Bannock 7,200 7,342 142 23.1
Madison 5,738 5,852 114 41.0
Bingham 3,983 4,054 71 21.7
Nez Perce 3,246 3,289 43 15.2
Cassia 2,724 2,759 35 20.8
   
Ten hotspot counties (most daily cases, per 100,000 population) Jan. 22 Jan. 29 New cases, Jan. 23-29 New cases per day, per 100,000 population
Teton 925 991 66 77.7
Blaine 1,830 1,937 107 66.4
Valley 683 734 51 64.0
Clearwater 938 975 37 60.4
Bonner 2,525 2,669 144 45.0
Kootenai 15,175 15,679 504 43.5
Madison 5,738 5,852 114 41.0
Oneida 295 308 13 41.0
Washington 1,126 1,154 28 39.2
Gem 1,594 1,642 48 37.9
Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television; and “Idaho Matters” on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at email__" data-cfemail="0269706b616a677076426b66636a6d67666c6775712c6d7065">[email protected]

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