Teton Hospital CEO Keith Gnagey reported Monday, Aug. 3, that seven new COVID-19 cases where logged through rapid-testing at the medical facility this afternoon. This is added to the 11 new positive tests reported by Eastern Idaho Public Health on Sunday. On Tuesday, the hospital reported that four of the seven cases were Fremont County residents.
EIPH is reporting two new cases this evening, but Gnagey reported the additional five that came in after the EIPH deadline for reporting at 3 p.m.
"What this means is that we have a large incident of COVID in the valley," said Gnagey of the growing numbers in Teton County, Idaho.
Teton Valley Health has been relying on rapid tests for better turn around on testing. They were able to secure 500 more rapid tests last week through private funding from the Cushman Family currently have 750 total on hand.
Teton County is currently under a mandatory mask ordinance through Eastern Idaho Public Health. Gnagey said Teton Valley Health firmly believe that the existing order should not be canceled.
As for contact tracing, Gnagey said the cases are still under investigation.
According to the Idaho Press, in the past two weeks, Idaho's positive test rate has actually gone down, but remains far from the 5% rate recommended by health experts.
During the week of July 19-25, 13% of test results statewide were positive, down from 15% the week of July 5-11; that week had the highest positive test rate since the state began tracking the information in March.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the rate of positive tests can show if enough tests are being conducted to find cases.
"If a community's positivity is high, it suggests that that community may largely be testing the sickest patients and possibly missing milder or asymptomatic cases," the school says on its website tracking testing and other metrics related to COVID-19.
The World Health Organization has said that countries should begin reopening only after the positive test rate reaches 5% or lower for at least 14 days.
On Saturday, the state’s website for coronavirus information listed 21,114 cases of COVID-19 in Idaho; that number includes 19,849 confirmed and 1,265 probable cases, which means those people were exposed to someone with a lab-confirmed case who showed the same symptoms, but who haven’t been tested.
Also updated Saturday:
- 250 cases admitted to the ICU
- 1,248 cases among health care workers
- 1,352 asymptomatic cases
CASES BY AGE GROUP
- Under 18: 1,850 cases, an increase by 680 since July 25
- 18 – 29: 4,760 cases, an increase by 1,772 since July 25
- 30 – 39: 2,475 cases, an increase by 1,183 since July 25
- 40 – 49: 3,199 cases, an increase by 1,072 since July 25
- 50 – 59: 2,624 cases, an increase by 894 since July 25
- 60 – 69: 1,057 cases, an increase by 565 since July 25
- 70 – 79: 945 cases, an increase by 398 since July 25
- 80 – 89: 497 cases, an increase by 95 since July 25
- Over 90: 159 cases, an increase by 30 since July 25
DEATHS BY AGE GROUP, GENDER
As of Saturday, 53% of deaths are men, and 47% are women.
- 30-39: one death, an increase of one since July 25
- 40-49: three deaths, an increase of one since July 25
- 50 – 59: five deaths, no increase
- 60 – 69: 23 deaths, an increase by five since July 25
- 70 – 79: 45 deaths, an increase by 15 since July 25
- Over 80: 120 deaths, an increase by 29 since July 25
As people begin to socialize more, state officials said the following preventative measures are even more important:
- Keep a distance of 6 feet from those not in your immediate household
- Wear a mask when unable to maintain social distance
- Wash hand frequently
- Cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow
- Stay home when sick
This story was updated on Tuesday, Aug. 4 to reflect details about testing in Teton County.