Blaine County’s overall risk level for COVID-19 was maintained in the “high” category on Thursday, though the primary indicators improved from the prior week.
In its risk-assessment model using data from April 11-17, the county’s rate of COVID-19 tests registering as positive decreased to 3.35% from 7.14% the previous week, moving from the “high” to “moderate” category. In the same week, the county’s number of new daily cases per hypothetical 100,000 residents decreased to 11.8 from 23.6 the previous week, based on a seven-day average. A rate between 10 and 25 per 100,000 is considered a “high” risk.
The impact on hospital capacity was deemed “minimal.”
The county’s model has four risk categories: minimal, moderate, high and critical.
“COVID-19 variants have been detected and confirmed in Blaine County and Idaho,” the county’s online informational dashboard states.
New infections were distributed across several age groups. The 11-13, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50-59 age groups all recorded three new cases in the county in the seven-day span.
Variants of the novel coronavirus have been determined to be generally more transmissible and can cause more serious COVID-19 illness.
The Department of Health and Welfare recorded 294 new cases of COVID-19 statewide on Wednesday. Since the pandemic began last winter, the state has recorded 185,759 cases and 2,028 COVID-related deaths.
Blaine County has recorded 2,340 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, with 18 deaths attributed to the virus.
Health District updates assessment
The South Central Public Health District also updated its COVID-19 transmission risk assessment Thursday. Unlike the county, the Health District updates once every two weeks and bases its analysis on 14-day averages, rather than seven-day averages.
The Health District once again designated Blaine County at a “moderate” risk. The only change on the district’s assessment was in Twin Falls County, which rose from a “low” risk to a “moderate” risk. The district’s six other counties—Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln and Minidoka—all remained at a “low” risk.