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COVID-19 case numbers haven’t budged
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COVID-19 case numbers haven’t budged

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COVID-19 case numbers don't budge

Essential workers get their first round of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, at the Minidoka Memorial Hospital's ambulance bay in Rupert.

TWIN FALLS — Idaho and Magic Valley COVID-19 case numbers have been perfectly flat during the last two weeks.

The state had 6,430 new cases from Jan. 6 through Jan. 12, a 2% increase. The Magic Valley went from 578 to 577 cases during that window, a 0.2% decrease. Those are the smallest week-to-week changes in new cases during the pandemic.

South-central Idaho and the Gem State have both avoided an anticipated post-Christmas surge in cases, although the number of new cases hasn’t fallen either. Compared to the Magic Valley’s late October and November weekly case numbers — which were in the 1,000 to 1,500 range — January’s 500 or so cases per week has been a marked improvement.

If you look back farther, the January numbers don’t seem quite as promising. For instance, the eight-county region eclipsed the 500-cases-per-week plateau for the first time during the last week of September. Before that, the weekly high had been 380 cases at the end of July.

Hospitalizations appear to be holding just as steady as the weekly case counts. St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center had 19 COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday. The Twin Falls hospital has had between 11 and 24 COVID-19 hospitalizations every day in 2021.

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Hospitalizations numbers are far lower than they were in November (by about half), but much higher than they were during the summer.

Statewide, hospitalizations peaked at the start of December, with nearly 500 Idahoans admitted on some days. There are now about 340 Idahoans hospitalized due to COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, more than 35,000 Idahoans have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Those doses have been given to health care workers, and long-term care facility residents and staff. At least 2,319 Magic Valley residents have been vaccinated, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Some of the 500,000 individuals who fall within the state’s second-priority tier can now get vaccinations. You can view the full priority-group listings here and the state’s rollout timeline here.

Teachers, school staff, first responders and some frontline workers can now get vaccinated. Starting in February, people 65 and older who didn’t already fall into one of the other priority groups will be able to get the vaccine. The state has been bumping up vaccine administration dates.

COVID-19 has now killed 1,564 Idahoans and 219 people in the Magic Valley.

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