Idaho’s COVID-19 metrics indicate that infections are again on the upswing.
The week of May 1, the state’s positivity rate rose to 5%. Public health experts say that’s the exact benchmark that indicates control of a respiratory pandemic, meaning that if it rises any higher, Idaho will be back in unwanted territory.
After two consecutive weeks in March with a positivity rate of just 1.5%, Idaho’s rate has climbed each week.
The positivity rate measures the proportion of tests that come back positive. Health leaders in the state have previously said that the prevalence of at-home tests, which are not recorded in the state’s figures, means those numbers likely don’t show the whole picture.
Case numbers also have increased recently in Idaho, but they still remain low. Recent case data indicate that the counties with the highest case rates are Blaine, Boundary and Ada.
Incidence rates are rising quickly across the nation, largely due to the spread of omicron sublineages, which appear to be more transmissible than the original variant.
Some new variants also have shown to be better at escaping immune protections, whether those be from prior infection or vaccination.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration warned that a surge in the fall could infect 100 million Americans, according to The Washington Post.
Ian Max Stevenson is a breaking news reporter at the Idaho Statesman. If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a subscription to our newspaper. Support my work with a digital subscription