Blaine County’s coronavirus case number jumped by 39 overnight. According to the South Central Public Health District, as of 10:15 a.m. today, March 31, Blaine County has 187 reported cases of COVID-19. Last night as of 5:21 p.m., the total was 148.

     It is unclear how the rate of testing has changed since St. Luke’s began testing residents and how that could be affecting the number of positive tests.

     St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, which established a drive-thru screening station on March 17, declined to comment on the number of local tests, deferring to the Department of Health and Welfare’s statistics. Anecdotally, though, some 500 local samples have been tested as of March 26, according to a joint letter to the Idaho Mountain Express signed by the physicians of the Wood River Medical Center’s emergency department. 

     South Central Public Health District Public Information Officer Brianna Bodily told the Mountain Express that tests sent to commercial laboratories are not shared with the Health District unless a test result is positive.

     In an email on March 25, Bodily said the continued increase of cases cannot be attributed to any one thing.

     “We have community spread in Blaine County and community transmission in the state,” she said. “Each additional case brings the possibility of more spread. That’s why public health officials are urging the public to take this virus seriously and do what they can to slow the spread.”

     According to the state’s coronavirus website, which draws testing numbers from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho had tested a total of 5,712 people as of Monday.


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