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COVID-19 cases continue to spike up in Clearwater County, North Central Idaho

by Nancy C. Butler

COVID-19 cases in Clearwater County and North Central Idaho continue to spike up the three weeks since Aug. 2.

Between Monday, Aug. 2, and Monday, Aug. 23, Clearwater County had 142 new cases and one death. There were another 21 cases recorded Tuesday, according to Public Health-Idaho North Central District. In the same Monday to Monday period there were 1,231 new cases in the district and another 61 Tuesday.

The cases in Clearwater County are spread across the age groups from 0-4 to 80s. However, the highest numbers are in the age groups of 18-29 to people in their 70s. Of those, 73 were male and 69 female. The health district also shows cases across the age groups and the highest numbers are also in the groups from 18-29 to people in their 70s.

From Monday, Aug. 16, to Monday, Aug. 23, Clearwater County had 69 new cases and there were another 21 recorded Tuesday. The district has had 654 new cases with 3 deaths. There were 61 new cases in the district Tuesday.

The statistic that has changed somewhat is the comparison between confirmed and probable case. That ratio has changed from earlier in the pandemic. Of the 69 cases between Mondays Aug. 16 and 23, 20 were confirmed and 48 probable. In the district, during the same period, there were 508 confirmed and 146 probable.

Tara Macke, public information officer for PH-INCD offered the following explanation:

"With increased cases, we are seeing an increased need for testing throughout the entire district, and that has created a need to utilize more rapid antigen tests instead of PCR tests. These rapid antigen tests are very good tests, but as defined by the State, can only be recognized as a "Probable" case where the PCR is a "Confirmed" case. With the increased use of these tests, and many returning a positive result, it has cause the number of "Probable" cases to increase."

As of Monday, 37.41 percent or 3,062 of the residents of Clearwater County over 12 years of age had been vaccinated. That was up slightly from the week before. PH-INCD shows a rate of 43 percent.

Statistics for the health district, where this information was gathered, are posted each weekday by 3 p.m. at: https://www.idahopublichealth.com/. Just scroll down to the COVID section. There is a wide variety of information for those who would like to check it out.

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140