City of McCall lifts mask mandate; COVID-19 cases still low, but Idaho adds 8 deaths

·7 min read

The McCall City Council on Thursday lifted the mask mandate that was in effect inside city limits.

The order was expected to expire May 26, but city leaders approved a series of four metrics to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in the area at an April 22 meeting. When three of the four metrics are met, the council can consider terminating the order.

With three of the four metrics satisfied as of Thursday, the council chose to remove the mandate. The four mandates are: biweekly case rates remain in the green zone for four weeks; Valley County vaccine uptake for 16+ years of age reaches at least 65%; Valley County test positivity percentage remains below 5%; at least one dose of vaccine for 65+ across the Central District Health region reaches 75%.

Only the metric aiming for a 65% vaccination rate for ages 16 and older has not been met, according to McCall’s COVID-19 dashboard.

McCall still encourages individuals to follow Central District Health guidelines, including wearing face coverings. Businesses in the city will still have the option to continue requiring masks.

Idaho adds 187 new cases, eight deaths

Idaho’s seven-day moving average was below 200 new COVID-19 cases per day in late June 2020, and then the state went month after month without reaching that level again.

But as of Friday, the state has gone five consecutive days averaging fewer than 200 cases per day. The current seven-day average sits at 161.7.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported just 187 new cases statewide Friday. Though the caseload remains relatively low, there were eight new coronavirus-related deaths added.

The latest deaths were announced in Ada (2 new, 464 total), Bannock (1 new, 107 total), Canyon (1 new, 296 total), Kootenai (1 new, 208 total), Owyhee (1 new, 29 total), Payette (1 new, 37 total) and Twin Falls (1 new, 127 total) counties. To date, Idaho has lost 2,061 residents to the virus, with a case fatality rate of about 1.09%.

Updated demographics from Health and Welfare show two of the newest deaths were individuals in their 50s, two in their 60s, one in their 70s and three 80 or older.

Of the 26 counties that added new cases Friday, only four saw double-figure increases: Ada (46 new, 51,917 total), Canyon (24 new, 26,649 total), Kootenai (41 new, 17,962 total) and Twin Falls (12 new, 9,490 total).

The three counties with the highest current COVID-19 infection rates in Idaho are Shoshone, Benewah and Idaho. Their seven-day moving average incidence rates are 18.9, 18.4 and 18 per 100,000 people, respectively.

The other counties reporting new cases were Bannock (8 new, 8,746 total), Benewah (7 new, 682 total), Bingham (4 new, 4,815 total), Blaine (1 new, 2,369 total), Boise (1 new, 356 total), Bonner (2 new, 3,233 total), Bonneville (3 new, 14,861 total), Clearwater (1 new, 1,050 total), Elmore (3 new, 1,996 total), Gem (2 new, 1,763 total), Idaho (4 new, 1,214 total), Jefferson (1 new, 2,993 total), Jerome (1 new, 2,595 total), Latah (6 new, 3,128 total), Lincoln (2 new, 504 total), Madison (7 new, 7,178 total), Minidoka (2 new, 2,338 total), Nez Perce (4 new, 3,613 total), Oneida (1 new, 360 total), Payette (1 new, 2,549 total), Shoshone (3 new, 1,108 total) and Teton (1 new, 1,215 total).

Health and Welfare removed one case from Bear Lake County (382 total).

Idaho has reported 188,788 confirmed and probable cases since the start of the pandemic, and Health and Welfare estimates 108,493 of those cases have recovered.

Variants found in Moscow wastewater

The city of Moscow has been testing its wastewater for the presence of COVID-19 since last May and recently added routine variant testing.

Results from the first variant test received on April 13 indicate that the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7) is the dominant strain in Moscow’s wastewater. As of April 30, seven variants have been identified in Latah County: five U.K. variants and two California (B.1.427/B.1.429) variants, according to Idaho North Central District Director Carol Moehrle.

“Being aware of the risks in our community and how we can continue to slow the spread and manage illness is so important,” Moscow Mayor Bill Lambert said in a news release. “Continuing our work to prevent illness is key. Social distancing and wearing masks are working to help us bridge the gap as folks who want to can get vaccinated.”

Long-term care update

As of Friday, Health and Welfare reports that there are 1,290 active coronavirus cases between 30 facilities, which is lower than the 1,586 cases at 35 facilities last week. There are 289 facilities with resolved outbreaks.

To date, 793 people from 178 long-term facilities in Idaho have died from COVID-19-related causes — two deaths more than were reported last week. That accounts for nearly 39% of the 2,061 deaths in the state.

The most recent data from Health and Welfare shows that 68.4% of Idahoans age 65 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Below is a list of long-term care facilities by city that have active cases of the coronavirus among residents and/or staff. For an outbreak to be considered “resolved,” more than 28 days must pass (two incubation periods) without any additional cases associated with the facility.

American Falls: Edgewood Spring Creek American Falls; Boise: Edgewood Spring Creek-Overland, Garden Plaza of Valley View-Valley View Nursing & Rehab, Garden Plaza of Valley View-The Bridge at Valley View, Arbor Village at Hillcrest, Edgewood Spring Creek Memory Care-Five Mile, Edgewood Plantation Place, Avamere Transitional Care, Park Place Assisted Living, Grace Memory Care, Trinity Assisted Living;

Chubbuck: Brookdale Chubbuck; Eagle: Edgewood Spring Creek Eagle; Garden City: Emerson House at Riverpointe; Idaho Falls: Turtle and Crane Assisted Living; McCall: McCall Rehab and Care Center; Meridian: Touchmark at Meadow Lake Village, Aspire-Elk Run, The Cottages-Meridian; Mountain Home: Country Living Retirement of Mountain Home, Ashley Manor-Mountain Home;

Nampa: Heron Place, Aspire-Sunset Oaks, Park Place Assisted Living, Sunny Ridge; Pocatello: Gateway Transitional Care Center, Brookdale Pocatello, Elegant Residential Living, State Veterans Home-Pocatello; Sandpoint: Valley Vista Care-Sandpoint; Twin Falls: Grace Assisted Living-Twin Falls.


Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 1,104,528, according to Health and Welfare. Of those, 521,942 people have been fully vaccinated.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 8,211 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,385 admissions to the ICU and 10,535 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 May 6, the health system was reporting 23 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 481 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 4%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of May 6, the health system was reporting 32 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 381 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 8.6%.

Boise School District: Reported confirmed cases since April 27: Boise High School (2), Garfield Elementary (1), Liberty Elementary (1), Maple Grove Elementary (2), Shadow Hills Elementary (2), Trail Wind Elementary (2), West Jr. High (1).

West Ada School District: Reported confirmed cases for April 23-May 6: Centennial High (3), Eagle High (2), Meridian High (2), Rocky Mountain High (1), Lake Hazel Middle (1), Lewis and Clark Middle (2), Lowell Scott Middle (1), Meridian Middle (1), Sawtooth Middle (1), Chaparral Elementary (1), Christine Donnell (1), Eliza Hart Spalding STEM Academy (1), Hillsdale Elementary (2), Peregrine Elementary (1), Ponderosa Elementary (1).

Total COVID-19 cases by county (confirmed + probable): Ada 51,917, Adams 339, Bannock 8,746, Bear Lake 382, Benewah 682, Bingham 4,815, Blaine 2,369, Boise 356, Bonner 3,233, Bonneville 14,861, Boundary 868, Butte 210, Camas 71, Canyon 26,649, Caribou 692, Cassia 2,938, Clark 59, Clearwater 1,050, Custer 247, Elmore 1,996, Franklin 1,182, Fremont 1,129, Gem 1,763, Gooding 1,303, Idaho 1,214, Jefferson 2,993, Jerome 2,595, Kootenai 17,962, Latah 3,128, Lemhi 524, Lewis 395, Lincoln 504, Madison 7,178, Minidoka 2,338, Nez Perce 3,613, Oneida 360, Owyhee 1,062, Payette 2,549, Power 653, Shoshone 1,108, Teton 1,215, Twin Falls 9,490, Valley 837, Washington 1,213.

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