Bonner County sees first COVID-19 deaths

Statewide coronavirus cases, deaths put Idaho in ‘red zone’

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

The Panhandle Health District announced the first novel coronavirus-related deaths in Bonner County on Oct. 14: a man and woman, both in their 80s. No other details were released.

“Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones during this difficult time,” said PHD Director Lora Whalen.  

PHD also reported six new active cases in Bonner County on Oct. 14, bringing the county’s total to 420 — 83 of which are active. PHD reports 68 deaths related to COVID-19 in the five northernmost Idaho counties since pandemic case reporting began in the state in March.

Idaho continues to serve as a hotbed for novel coronavirus transmission, as the state reported 645 new confirmed and probable cases on Oct. 14 — the latest in a snowballing situation that prompted the White House Coronavirus Task Force to list Idaho in the “red zone” for test positivity, further ranking it sixth in the country for cases per 100,000 people in its most recent report.

The Idaho Statesman reported the highest single-day case count to date on Oct. 13, with a record 714 confirmed and probable cases logged by health districts across the state that day. Statesman numbers often conflict with Idaho Department of Health and Welfare — and are often higher than those state-reported numbers — because IDHW publishes its daily report earlier in the day than many health districts release their new case counts.

Idaho surpassed 500 virus-related deaths earlier this month, and IDHW reported 516 deaths-to-date on Oct. 14. To date, 44 individuals have died of COVID-related causes in Kootenai County, with three deaths among Benewah County residents, one death of a Boundary County resident and 18 deaths among Shoshone County residents.  

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing is available through Bonner General Health Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. To access the testing line, hospital officials request patients enter at Third and Alder Streets, line up on the south side of Alder and stay in their cars. Testing is administered on a first-come, first-serve basis. More information is available at

Idaho Gov. Brad Little will host a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 15 at noon Pacific Time to update Idahoans on COVID-19 in the state. The conference will be live streamed at

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