Where does Spokane County, eastern Washington and North Idaho stand when it comes to coronavirus cases, deaths and COVID-19 testing? This article is updated daily with new information and analysis.
These are the case numbers as of Thursday, July 9:
The Panhandle Health District is reporting a record 97 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths in North Idaho on Thursday, July 9.
Eighty-one of the new cases in North Idaho on Thursday were reported in Kootenai County.
Five people are currently hospitalized, with a total of 22 hospitalizations since the pandemic began. One person has died of coronavirus in North Idaho.
This brings the total since the pandemic began to 689 confirmed cases, with 479 people who are still being monitored. More than 74% of coronavirus cases in North Idaho have been reported in people under the age of 50.
Governor Brad Little announced on Thursday that Idaho will remain in the final stage of the Idaho Rebounds plan for another two weeks, as the state did not meet necessary metrics to move forward.
“We cannot succeed in rebounding our economy and safely send children back to school if we do not individually and collectively take steps now to slow the spread of coronavirus in our communities,” he added.
PHD reported the first case of COVID-19 in Shoshone County on Thursday, July 2. Seven more cases have been confirmed in the county since that date.
Katherine Hoyer with PHD recently said there is a "large amount of community transmission" in Bonner and Kootenai Counties, with some degree of community spread in Benewah County.
Here is a breakdown of the cases by county as of Wednesday, July 8:
- Kootenai County: 595 cases, 1 death
- Bonner County: 57 cases
- Benewah County: 15 cases
- Boundary County: 2 cases
- Shoshone County: 8 cases
- Undetermined: 12 cases
The Spokane Regional Health District is reporting 53 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths on Thursday, July 9.
There are now 1,898 total coronavirus cases reported in Spokane County. Forty people have died since the pandemic began, including one person in their 30s.
“We have progressively seen almost every two weeks an uptick, an increase in the number of cases. This is a function of the fact that COVID-19 has a two-week incubation period," Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz said on Wednesday.
Health officials said on Wednesday that 20 residents of Spokane County are currently hospitalized. A total of 150 people have been hospitalized in Spokane County since the pandemic began.
Increases are not 'just a function of doing more testing'
The increase in COVID-19 cases throughout Spokane County is "not just a function of doing more testing," Lutz said on Wednesday.
"If we were doing more testing, we wouldn’t see an increased positivity rate if we didn’t have the amount of COVID-19 in the community," he added.
Spokane County should ideally have a positivity rate of about 2% but, right now, the county is sitting at about 8 percent, Lutz said. The county reached rates of positive coronavirus tests that were as high as 18 to 20% last week.
“We are doing more testing but we also have more spread. We have people that are out infected and not knowing they’re infected," Lutz said.
More cases related to community spread
Last week, epidemiologists in Spokane County found that about 55% of coronavirus cases had epidemiological links, Lutz said.
A case that includes a link has been connected to a previously confirmed case. Essentially, the county confirms a positive COVID-19 case and uses contact tracing to find people linked to it.
But 45% of cases last week did not have links, leaving epidemiologists unable to connect the dots, according to Lutz. This means about half of last week's cases are attributed to community spread.
In the first full week of June, 85.2% of all reported cases were linked, with only 14.8% of cases attributed to community spread.
Washington state data:
- 10 new deaths and 521 new cases reported Wednesday in Washington.
- TOTAL: 1,394 deaths among 37,941 overall cases in Washington state.
- 645,072 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 5.9% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.
- 8,373 cases of COVID-19, a daily increase of 417 cases statewide, as well as 8,969 confirmed and probable cases.
- 98 deaths
- 2,978 recoveries have been reported
- 91 people hospitalized, with 22 in the ICU However, 91 people have been hospitalized. Of those admitted, 22 are in the ICU.
- 15,143 tests have been performed, with 11.1% of those tests coming back positive, according to the Idaho Department of Health
KING 5 and KTVB staff contributed to this report.