By Lyndsie Kiebert
As seasons shift, the novel coronavirus remains a constant in North Idaho, with Bonner County logging 11 new cases on Oct. 7. The county has now seen 388 total cases, 61 of which are currently active according to the Panhandle Health District.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 671 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 across Idaho, bringing the statewide total to 45,753 since tracking began this past spring and marking 500 total deaths in the state from the virus.
Idaho remains in Stage 4 of its pandemic reopening plan, per an Oct. 1 announcement from Gov. Brad Little. Stage 4 does not include any restrictions, though does provide suggested precautionary measures, including maintaining social distance and wearing a face covering in public.
Little has been holding press conferences every two weeks since the start of his stay-at-home order, and has been postponing the move out of Stage 4 since June. In the lead-up to the governor’s most recent announcement about staying in Stage 4, Idaho’s seven-day moving average of new confirmed cases reached 485.4, according to the Idaho Statesman, and the state failed to meet a variety of other criteria that would allow the governor’s order to end.
According to a Johns Hopkins University study, Idaho has the second highest positive COVID-19 testing rate in the nation. The Idaho Falls Post Register reported that Idaho’s positivity rate is 23.22%, meaning 23 of every 100 tests administered return positive results, second only to South Dakota, with a positivity rate of 23.64%.
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