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Positivity rate in area, region on the decline

| February 20, 2022 1:00 AM

Positivity rates for the coronavirus continue to decline in North Idaho.

According to the state’s COVID-19 Dashboard, Bonner County's positivity rate declined for the second straight week to 19% based on 453 PCR tests for the week ending Feb. 12. The positivity rate reached a high of 36.6% for the week ending Jan. 22 before dropping to 29.3% for the week ending Feb. 5.

According to the state’s COVID-19 Dashboard, Kootenai County’s positivity rate declined for the third straight week to 21.8% based on 1,671 PCR tests for the week ending Feb. 12. It reached a high of 41% On Jan. 22.

In Boundary County, the positivity rate dropped for the second straight week to 17.6% for the week ending Feb. 12 based on 148 PCR tests. The rate is down from 19.1%, based on 173 PCR tests, for the week ending Feb. 5, down from a high of 36.7% based on 180 PCR tests for the week ending Jan. 29.

The Panhandle Health District’s positivity rate fell to 21.3%, down from 40% three weeks ago, while the state’s dropped to 17%, down from 38%.

The surge of new cases that started last month was attributed to omicron, a more contagious but milder variant. But that seems to have run its course as hospitalizations and deaths attributed to the virus have also been declining locally and nationally.

Statewide hospitalizations were at 436 on Feb. 14. It reached a high of 793 Sept. 24.

PHD reported 1,008 new cases for the week of Feb. 10 to Feb. 17. The previous week starting Feb. 3 it reported 1,720 new cases.

State officials have said the goal is a positivity rate of 5%, and point out current rates are still more than triple that.

“We all want this to be over, but unfortunately, case rates are still high,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare epidemiologist.

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