St. Luke's Highway Exterior

St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center has seen a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations this month, but not on the same scale as its Magic Valley counterpart.

Blaine County remained in the “critical” risk category for coronavirus on Thursday, based on new data assessed through the county’s risk model.

The county’s risk level is assessed through the model every Thursday. The latest assessment on Oct. 22 used data from Oct. 11-17.

“Blaine County’s average new case rate is in the critical risk tier and has been trending upward for several weeks,” the county’s online informational dashboard states. “The local hospital is operating at moderate impact and regional hospitals are operating at a high impact.”

The rate of positive coronavirus tests in the county was 11.6 percent over the seven-day period. The number of new daily cases per 100,000 residents, based on a seven-day average, was 33.5. Both of those figures meet the criteria of the “critical” risk category, the highest of the four categories in the model.

The 18-29 age group gained 16 new cases, the highest increase out of all the age categories.

Meanwhile, the state of Idaho recorded its second-highest single-day increase in coronavirus cases Wednesday, adding 987 confirmed and probable cases. Only the number recorded last Friday, 1,094, was higher in a single-day tally for the state. The new cases brought the state’s total to 55,650, with 546 deaths attributed to COVID-19-related illness.

Blaine County recorded 10 new confirmed cases Wednesday. There have been 801 confirmed and 41 probable cases recorded in Blaine County since the beginning of the pandemic in March, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported.

Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients have also been on the rise. On Wednesday, Oct. 21, one patient was in St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center with COVID-19.  The surge has been more pronounced at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls, where there were 38 inpatients being treated for COVID-19 on Oct. 21.

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