The pace of Idaho’s COVID-19 spike appears to be slowing, according to statewide data.
Idaho’s test positivity rate rose to 11.3% the week of June 12, according to updated data from the Department of Health and Welfare. Though the figure is more than double the 5% benchmark public health experts aim for, it increased only 0.3% from the prior week, which is a much slower pace than the past few weeks.
The test rate data is always delayed by a week. The positivity rate has increased for 10 straight weeks, according to the data, and local hospitals have noted a surge in patients in recent weeks. So far, the surge has been significantly smaller than those that hit the Gem State last year and over the winter.
Since the third week of May, the rate, which measures the portion of tests that come back positive, has jumped from 7.2% to 11.3%. Health officials have cautioned that, because of the prevalence of at-home tests and general lack of testing, the numbers likely do not paint a complete portrait of the disease in the community.
On June 16, an updated map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that Boise-area residents were at the highest level of community risk that the public health agency measures, meaning that universal indoor masking is recommended. On Thursday, the CDC’s map dropped Ada County back down to the medium risk category, when immunocompromised people should talk to a health care provider about whether to wear a mask, according to the CDC.