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Idaho coronavirus updates: April 2-3

See the COVID-19 news in Idaho from April 2-3 as we work together to separate facts from fear.

BOISE, Idaho — To see the latest live updates on coronavirus in Idaho, click here. 

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's number of deaths and cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continue to climb amid a worldwide pandemic. 

New confirmed Idaho cases, closures and resources to help are announced every day. 

Idaho COVID-19 latest:  Latest news Map of confirmed Idaho cases | Stay-at-home order details | COVID-19 resources | Testing sites | Employers hiring | Essential business list | Closings | School closings Help nonprofitsFull COVID-19 coverage    

Latest Idaho coronavirus updates:

To see the latest live updates on coronavirus in Idaho, click here. 

Friday, April 3

In case you missed it, KTVB reporter Joe Parris tested positive for COVID-19 and shared his story. 

5:22 p.m. - Idaho now has 1,015 confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide

4:44 p.m. - Idaho Department of Corrections staff member tests positive for COVID-19

IDOC officials said a staff member at the Idaho Maximum Security Institute tested positive for the coronavirus. The staff member has recovered and is currently symptom-free. Health officials said the staff member was not contagious when they last worked and they don't believe there was any exposure.

3:45 p.m. - Bannock County confirms additional case of the coronavirus

3:10 p.m. - Twin Fall County has first death due to COVID-19

Health officials with the South Central Public Health District announced that a woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions had died because of COVID-19. This is the first confirmed coronavirus death in the county.

Officials added she was hospitalized and that the death comes at the heels of community spread being confirmed in the county.

IDOC officials added that they have tested 16 inmates for COVID-19, 14 have come back negative and two more are currently pending.

10:24 a.m. - Boise Music Festival, originally scheduled for June 27, 2020, announces event cancellation following coronavirus outbreaks in Idaho.

Thursday, April 2

10:43 p.m. - Jacksons employee in Ontario tests positive for COVID-19

Jacksons Food Stores announced Thursday night that an employee at the store on SW 4th Avenue in Ontario has tested positive for coronavirus. The company said the employee is recovering at home and that the store has been closed "out of an abundance of caution" so it can be deep-cleaned by a third-party. Two other stores were also closed on Thursday - one on Grove Avenue in Parma and one on Highway 20/26 in Notus - due to "contact points and personal connections" with the infected worker. Those stores are set to reopen Friday morning.

8:27 p.m. - Idaho numbers surpass Oregon

With 894 confirmed COVID-19 cases across Idaho, there are now more confirmed coronavirus cases in Idaho than there are in Oregon. Oregon currently has 826 cases and 21 coronavirus deaths, according to our sister station KGW in Portland.

8:18 p.m. - 894 confirmed cases statewide

5:04 p.m. - Ada County now has 289 confirmed cases

Statewide total now 814. See the latest Idaho coronavirus numbers on our interactive map and timeline.

4:39 p.m. - First COVID-19 case confirmed in Washington County; 751 cases confirmed statewide.

Southwest District Health has confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Washington County. According to the health district, the woman in her 70s is recovering at home and the source of the transmission is under investigation.  

4:25 p.m. - Central District Health confirms community spread of coronavirus in Elmore County; Total cases statewide now at 748

The Central District Health Department announced on Thursday that they found evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in Elmore County. Community transmission is defined as illness within a community that lacks connection to travel or other confirmed cases. The county now has a total of 8 cases. CDHD says none of the county's cases have required hospitalization. See the latest Idaho coronavirus numbers on our interactive map and timeline.

2:50 p.m. - West Valley Medical Center launches online COVID-19 screening tool

The screening tool assesses a person's risk of COVID-19 through a series of questions and based on answers, recommends the best next steps for care.

2:20 p.m. - Governor Little suspends more rules to increase telehealth access, ease licensing for medical professionals fighting coronavirus

Gov. Brad Little announced the suspension of an additional 18 regulations to more quickly, efficiently, and safely respond to Idaho's coronavirus emergency, adding to the 125 regulations he suspended in March.

The governor's latest action ensures citizens have greater access to telehealth and medical professionals can more easily obtain necessary licenses to quickly engage in the response effort.

"As the number of confirmed cases in Idaho continues to rise by the day, we are maintaining our focus on increasing healthcare capacity to deal with the medical needs of our friends and neighbors," Little said.

2:10 p.m. Saint Alphonsus employees facing pay cuts, unpaid leave

Employees at Saint Alphonsus will be reassigned to other areas, furloughed, or see their hours cut as the hospital system shifts its focus to fighting COVID-19. The CEO of Saint Alphonsus announced the changes in a letter to staff, telling them that the cost of preparing for a surge of coronavirus was outstripping the hospital's revenue. 

1:41 p.m. - Global count of COVID-19 surpasses 1 million

See more in our national live blog on coronavirus.

11:30 a.m. - Idaho initial claims for Unemployment Insurance increase 143%

Idaho workers laid off due to the coronavirus filed 32,941 initial claims for unemployment insurance between March 22 -28, 2020, an increase of 143 percent over the previous week, and it's a record for initial claims filed during one week in Idaho, the Idaho Dept. of Labor reports.

A total of 46,526 initial unemployment claims have been filed since Gov. Brad Little declared a state of emergency. The total number has increased by 4,400% from the week prior to March 8, 2020.

11 a.m. - More cases reported in Blaine and Twin Falls counties

South Central District Health says Blaine County now has 312 confirmed cases. Twin Falls County has 31. See more in our interactive map and timeline.

9:15 a.m. - Some health districts have revised their number of cases

The total number of cases statewide now sits at 667.

See earlier updates here. 

Coronavirus resources:  

Closures: 

Facts not fear: More on coronavirus

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