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‘New high:’ McCall COVID test rate spikes, adds city facility mask requirement

Starting September 17, the City of McCall will require masks in all city facilities following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

St. Lukes McCall Chief Operating and Nursing Officer Amber Green said that in August, 1,114 tests were administered and 142 were positive. 

Green noted that was a positivity rate of 14% and it was a new high of tests administered.

“This was our new high compared to any other months since COVID began,” Green said. “Previous to that, our highest was last December and January, in which we did about 865 tests. So a significant amount of more tests that we saw in August.”

According to Green, in September up until mid-last week, they had administered 365 tests and 65 have come back positive. The positivity rate is at 18% already 4% higher than August. 

[Trident sues Idaho over McCall swap rejection; asks for Land Board to reconsider alleging ‘bias’]

Who is testing positive?

Green said that St. Luke’s can now break down test positivity data by zip code.

“As far as transmission is concerned, it’s almost irrelevant whether they are local residents or non-local people,” she said. “So, of those 65 tests, we consider our service area, which is Valley, some of Adams County, and into Riggins. We had 54 within our service area. So that means there were about 11 that were outside of our service area. They could have been from Boise, they could have been from Oregon, Washington, any other place outside of our service area. Thirty-four of those were actual McCall residents.”

With this spike, St. Lukes McCall is reporting that most cases are school-age children, or ages zero through 17. 

“Those numbers peaked in August, and in August, they became our highest amount of the positives that we were seeing,” Green said. “So pretty concerning as far as our school-age kids are concerned.”

Dr. Paddy Kinney, who joined Green virtually from the McCall ER for the presentation, shared that 92% to 93% of COVID-19 positive patients are unvaccinated

Green said the hospital is operating at full capacity with 13 of its 15 beds in use. And to help with this – like all other St. Lukes- starting today, McCall will pause all elective surgeries to open up more space.

St. Lukes is projecting McCall’s positive cases to peak in early to mid-October.

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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