June 1st marks the beginning of another month. We wanted to take this chance to do a reset on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Idaho. Here’s where things stand, now.
- To date, 82 Idahoans are dead after contracting the coronavirus, according to official state numbers.
- Across the state, 2,839 have or have had COVID-19, either in a confirmed or “probable” case.
- The state entered its stage three reopening plan on Saturday.
In the Boise metro area:
- According to data compiled by the New York Times, the number of new cases in the Boise area remains significantly lower than its peak in early April. Its data shows that in the past two weeks, there have been .09 cases per 1,000 residents. Said another way, that is 9 cases for every 100,000 people. That ranks the Boise metro area 487th in the US in the last two weeks.
- The number of new cases is growing ever-so-slightly – up 1% over the prior week.
- The last death in the Boise metro was recorded on May 19th.
- Since the start of the pandemic, the area has seen 1,140 cases. NYT data shows Boise ranks as the 344th most impacted metro area in the nation, with 1.56 cases for every 1,000 people.
- Stage three of Idaho’s reopening plan went into effect Saturday. At this point, nearly all Idaho’s businesses can open, though some must follow business protocols and restrictions.
- The state issued updated guidance for safe gatherings and events.
- Idaho unemployment stands at 11.5% as of April. Data for May won’t be available until later this month.
- On a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, that rate is the highest since January of 1983, when the number of unemployed Idahoans stood at 12.1%.
- When accounting for seasonal changes in the workforce, the April rate is the highest on record.
- The state has struggled to keep up with unemployment claims. It recently added a new call center to help with demand. Gov. Brad Little said the state needs to do better.
- The demand for food assistance is on the rise.
- Idaho’s state revenue declined in April, partially due to the delayed income tax deadline, and partially because of a 3.1% dip in sales tax collection in the month.
- The number of homes sold in Ada County declined in April, though the median price still went up. Inventory in the area remains low.
Other data you should know
- The state is trying to ramp up testing, but there are still questions about the process.
- An investigation by the Idaho Statesman’s Nicole Foy found Idaho’s Latino population is hard hit by COVID-19. The Latino community is disproportionately affected statewide, and particularly in the Twin Falls area.
- State of Idaho officials refused to tell the Idaho Statesman which nursing homes were hardest hit by COVID-19. The paper has threatened to sue.
- Public parking garage usage in Downtown Boise, which provides a proxy for overall activity in the downtown core, still remains much below its pre-pandemic level. It recovered slightly from April.
- Traffic at the Boise Airport fell nearly as far as it possibly could.
Gov. Little: ‘my mask is for you’
Little strongly asked Idahoans to wear masks in public during a news conference Thursday.
“My mask is for you. What you are doing is being respectful, particularly of the clerk who waits on you. Wearing a mask is just the right thing to do. When you are outside, if you don’t have a cough or anything (that’s one thing), but if you’re inside, it’s the right thing for you to do and the right thing for everyone else.”