Idaho’s COVID-19 positivity rate drops again, hospitals improve

Idaho’s positivity rate dropped for the second week in a row, indicating that the wave of omicron cases in Idaho has begun to subside.

After rising for five consecutive weeks to a high of 37.8% the week of January 16, the rate fell 6 points the week of January 23, to 32%, and was 25.1% the week of January 30. January, the most recent data. available, according to the Department of Health and Welfare.

The decline matches the trajectory of the state’s estimated incidence rate, which is believed to have fallen by nearly two-thirds since Jan. 24.

But the current positivity rate, although diminished, is still significant. Prior to the omicron surge, a 25% positivity rate would have broken all previous records by 6 percentage points. Public health officials are aiming for a rate of 5% or less to indicate that the spread of a respiratory virus is under control.

“The number of cases is incredibly high compared to what they were at the start of the pandemic,” Dr. Kathryn Turner, deputy state epidemiologist, said during a Tuesday press briefing.

As the number of cases decreases, the weight of the omicron wave could still arrive.

Hospitalizations tend to lag cases several weeks behind, health and wellness director Dave Jeppesen said Tuesday. However, since Jan. 30, hospitalizations have fallen from 614 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 to 537 on Feb. 7, according to state data.

“We’re not quite sure whether hospitalizations have peaked yet or not,” Jeppesen said.

This story was originally published February 10, 2022 6:21 p.m.

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