IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – Idaho Falls, along with Bonneville and Jefferson Counties found their way into the national “red zone” for coronavirus infections in the past week. The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report, published last Sunday, puts Idaho in the “Red Zone,” meaning more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population, and the red zone for test positivity, indicating a rate above 10%.
The report was originally published by the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit newsroom based in Washington D.C.
The biggest growth in new cases occurred in Idaho Falls, while Ada County saw a slight decline. The state had 196 new cases per 100,000. The national average is 140.
Idaho cities in the “Red Zone” include Boise City, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, and Burley. Eastern Idaho cities in the “Yellow Zone” include Pocatello, Rexburg, and Blackfoot and, regionally, Jackson, Wyoming and Logan, Utah.
There are 12 counties in the “Red Zone,” including Bonneville and Jefferson Counties. The others are Ada, Canyon, Kootenai, Mindidoka, Payette, Cassia, Owyhee, Gem, Washington, and Shoshone. Eastern Idaho counties in the “yellow zone” include Bannock, Bingham, Teton and Franklin Counties.
Hospitalizations continued to rise and exceed the initial peak in April. The highest case and test positivity rates are in the Boise area, where they are straining southwest Idaho hospitals.
As a result of the report, FEMA has deployed 11 staffers to support its operations in Idaho.
The White House panel is recommending surge testing and contact tracing resources in zip codes with the highest case rates and is supporting recent mandates for mask wearing.
The group is also recommending community-led neighborhood testing, further restrictions on reopening guidelines, and work to increase access to testing.
You can see the Task Force Idaho report here.