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Idaho teachers can get COVID-19 vaccine now; state adds more than 1,000 cases, 11 deaths

This article was originally published by Rachel Roberts and Audrey Dutton in the Idaho Statesman.

Idaho teachers are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new schedule for the vaccine rollout from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Gov. Brad Little announced changes to the timeline on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a press briefing from the department.

Idaho’s latest coronavirus vaccine rollout schedule shows that first responders and safety workers, teachers and staff who work with children from infancy through high school, and correctional facility staff may now start getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

The next group of vaccine recipients starts in February, with Idahoans age 65 and older and more frontline essential workers, such as grocery store employees.

How will educators get their vaccine? Mostly, the same way they get flu shots.

“For people without a primary care physician, access to vaccines may be through places such as your employer, local public health agencies, federally qualified health centers (community clinics) and pharmacies,” the department explains on its blog. “As we move from vaccinating health care workers to offering vaccine to others, more and more health care providers will have vaccine. Currently over 200 health care providers have signed up to be able to provide COVID-19 vaccine.”

But health care providers — some of whom just started vaccinating people in earlier phases — may not be able to make appointments immediately.

“We will provide updates here and on our website as we get more information on when and how the next priority groups can book their appointments at (St. Luke’s Health System) for a COVID-19 vaccine,” a St. Luke’s spokesperson said on Twitter. “We’re grateful so many of you are eager and ready.”

IDAHO ADDS MORE THAN 1,000 CASES

After three straight days with fewer than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19, Idaho surpassed the 1,000-case threshold on Tuesday.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the state’s seven public health districts reported 709 new confirmed cases and 303 new probable cases for a total of 1,012 new cases on Tuesday. The state’s seven-day moving average of new coronavirus cases stayed below 1,000 for the second straight day at 924.7.

Eleven new deaths from COVID-19 were reported between Ada (3 new, 380 total), Bingham (1 new, 54 total), Canyon (2 new, 235 total), Franklin (1 new, 12 total), Gem (1 new, 23 total), Gooding (1 new, 21 total), Oneida (1 new, 3 total) and Twin Falls (1 new, 115 total) counties.

Idaho has lost 1,563 residents to the virus, with a case fatality rate of about 1.03%.

More than half of Thursday’s new confirmed cases came from three counties — Ada (174 new, 35,531 total), Kootenai (157 new, 12,779 total) and Canyon (80 new, 18,999 total). Double-digit increases were reported in Bonneville (34 new, 8,041 total), Twin Falls (33 new, 6,611 total), Bonner (32 new, 1,859 total), Latah (30 new, 2,196 total), Bannock (20 new, 4,101 total), Madison (20 new, 4,839 total), Elmore (19 new, 1,097 total) and Nez Perce (12 new, 2,878 total) counties.

The other counties adding new confirmed cases were Bear Lake (1 new, 224 total), Benewah (5 new, 387 total), Bingham (5 new, 2,382 total), Blaine (8 new, 1,503 total), Boise (1 new, 196 total), Boundary (4 new, 302 total), Butte (1 new, 143 total), Caribou (9 new, 306 total), Clearwater (3 new, 642 total), Custer (2 new, 169 total), Franklin (2 new, 770 total), Fremont (6 new, 804 total), Gem (4 new, 1,189 total), Gooding (3 new, 866 total), Idaho (2 new, 839 total), Jefferson (5 new, 1,616 total), Jerome (8 new, 1,849 total), Lincoln (1 new, 351 total), Oneida (1 new, 188 total), Owyhee (2 new, 822 total), Payette (4 new, 1,758 total), Power (2 new, 426 total), Shoshone (5 new, 843 total), Teton (3 new, 513 total), Valley (8 new, 474 total) and Washington (3 new, 794 total).

There have been 124,396 confirmed cases reported statewide overall, plus 27,025 probable cases. Health and Welfare estimates that 67,633 people have recovered from the virus.

DAILY DETAILS

Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 38,891, according to Health and Welfare. Of those, 27,476 people have received their first dose, while 5,692 have received both doses.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 6,128 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,076 admissions to the ICU and 7,836 health care workers infected. Hospital and health care numbers are based on cases with completed investigations into contacts, not the full number of positives.

St. Luke’s Health System: As of Jan. 11, the health system was reporting 72 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 468 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 14%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Jan. 11, the health system was reporting 68 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 349 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 22.9%.

Testing totals: At the end of the day Tuesday, Health and Welfare reported that 566,225 people had been tested statewide. About 22% of those have been positive for COVID-19.

West Ada School District: Reported cases between Dec. 30 and Jan. 12: Centennial High (6), Eagle High (5), Meridian High (4), Mountain View High (6), Renaissance High (2), Rocky Mountain High (6), Heritage Middle (5), Lake Hazel Middle (5), Lewis and Clark Middle (3), Lowell Scott Middle (4), Meridian Middle (5), Sawtooth Middle (1), Star Middle (1), Christine Donnell School (1), Desert Sage Elementary (1), Frontier Elementary (1), Galileo STEM Academy (1), Joplin Elementary (1), Meridian Elemenary (1), Paramount Elementary (2), Pioneer School of the Arts (1), Prospect Elementary (1), Sienna Elementary (1), Summerwind STEM (1), Willow Creek Elementary (1).

Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 35,531, Adams 220, Bannock 4,101, Bear Lake 224, Benewah 387, Bingham 2,382, Blaine 1,503, Boise 196, Bonner 1,859, Bonneville 8,041, Boundary 302, Butte 143, Camas 42, Canyon 18,999, Caribou 306, Cassia 2,325, Clark 44, Clearwater 642, Custer 169, Elmore 1,097, Franklin 770, Fremont 804, Gem 1,189, Gooding 866, Idaho 839, Jefferson 1,616, Jerome 1,849, Kootenai 12,779, Latah 2,196, Lemhi 395, Lewis 262, Lincoln 351, Madison 4,839, Minidoka 1,821, Nez Perce 2,878, Oneida 188, Owyhee 822, Payette 1,758, Power 426, Shoshone 843, Teton 513, Twin Falls 6,611, Valley 474, Washington 794.

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