Bonner County COVID cases rise, following state trend

By Reader Staff

Bonner County experienced a notable upswing in COVID-19 cases through September, adding more than 120 cases from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30 for a total of 350 confirmed and probable cases since the pandemic began in mid-March. Two dates in the month accounted for the so-far largest single-day case count since health officials logged 22 cases on July 24. According to Panhandle Health District, 15 new cases were recorded on both Sept. 22 and Sept. 30.

According to the Associated Press, Idaho appears to be heading into a “third wave” of coronavirus infections, as case numbers rise amid the opening of the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Boise-based KTVB-TV reported Sept. 27 that Dr. David Pate, a member of the Idaho coronavirus task force and former St. Luke’s Health CEO, said, “I think we are a week into our third spike that is going to be bigger than either of the ones before.”

The state added 614 confirmed and probable cases Sept. 30, bringing the total since spring 2020 to 42,048. So far, 469 Idahoans have died as a result of COVID-19 infection — 56 deaths having occurred in the Panhandle Health District, which includes the five northernmost Idaho counties. No one has died, as yet, as a result of COVID-19 in Bonner County.

The Associated Press reported Sept. 29 that Idaho is ranked 11th in the nation by Johns Hopkins University for new confirmed COVID-19 cases per capita.

According to PHD, 48 new cases were reported district-wide on Sept. 30, with 28 individuals currently hospitalized. Meanwhile, closed cases number 3,063, denoting individuals who are no longer being actively monitored for the virus.

Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties remain in the “yellow” risk assessment category, which determines whether and how schools may remain open. Lake Pend Oreille School District facilities are currently maintaining their shortened schedules and social distancing and face covering policies.

Health officials such as Pate forecast more illness going into November, as the typical cold and flu season ramps up.

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