Idaho set a record for COVID-19 infections Friday, with 500 new confirmed and probable cases being reported.

That included two new cases in Idaho County and two more in Latah County.

Across the border in Washington, Garfield County reported its first confirmed case of the virus, in a man older than the age of 50 who is recuperating at home. Garfield is the last county in the state to see a coronavirus infection.

Including Friday’s numbers, Idaho has seen a total of 9,928 cases of COVID-19 since February, with 101 deaths. That’s an increase of nearly 30 percent, or 2,934 cases, in just the past week.

The Treasure Valley has been the epicenter of this latest surge. Of the 500 new cases reported Friday, for example, more than 300 were in Ada and Canyon counties.

To provide greater transparency regarding the severity of the pandemic, Idaho health officials recently began reporting the number of COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized because of the virus.

As of Wednesday, the latest date available, 86 patients were being treated for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms statewide. That was down from 106 on Tuesday, but was still the second-highest daily patient load since the pandemic began.

Washington reported 637 new cases Friday, bringing its total to 39,218. There were 15 more deaths, for a total of 1,424.

In addition to the one case in Garfield County, Whitman County reported three new cases, all of whom are people younger than the age of 40 who are recovering at home.

The United States as a whole reported a record 63,000 new cases of COVID-19 cases Friday, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. That was 35 percent of all new cases reported worldwide.

To date, at least 12.44 million people around the world have been infected with the virus, and more than 558,000 have died. According to the Johns Hopkins database, the Unitest States accounts for 25 percent of the world cases and 24 percent of the deaths.

Also on Friday, officials with Lower Granite Dam indicated they were closing the dam crossing to the public for two weeks, because of COVID-19 health concerns. They will provide an updated status “in about 14 days,” according to a news release.

Public dam crossings are still available at Little Goose and Lower Monumental dams.

Spence may be contacted at bspence@lmtribune.com or (208) 791-9168.

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