The COVID-19 pandemic continued its stealthy advance through north central Idaho, with Monday seeing the biggest single-day total of cases reported during the pandemic.

Public Health – Idaho North Central District posted an increase of 251 new infections since Friday, including 135 positive tests in Nez Perce County and 75 cases in Latah County. The previous one-day high for the district was 165 cases reported the previous Monday.

The health district does not update its report on weekends.

Whitman County also reported another death over the weekend from the virus, bringing the county total deaths to 20. The most recent death was a woman in her 80s, according to a news release from the Whitman County health district.

The North Central District said Monday that case surges in the last month have created backlogs and delays for disease investigation teams, making it impossible to contact all new reported cases, or the people they have been in close contact with.

“We are facing significantly increased levels of community transmission, we need the community’s help to reduce the numbers,” said Carol Moehrle, public health director.

“We are doing our best to keep up with the demand, including working overtime, but with the drastic increase in positive cases in such a short time, we need the help of the public to slow the spread.”

With the latest surge in cases, she said, some health districts have been forced to prioritize investigative calls by age, to ensure they are reaching the people most at risk for severe symptoms and those most likely to spread the disease. The health district is urging anyone who is awaiting a test result or who receives a positive test result to take proactive measures to protect themselves and others.

In Nez Perce County, the new cases include one girl younger than age 4; two girls ages 5 to 12; three girls and three boys ages 13 to 17; 17 women and 11 men ages 18 to 29; 16 women and 12 men in their 30s; 16 women and 11 men in their 40s; 13 women and seven men in their 50s; eight women and five men in their 60s; five men in their 70s; and three men in their 80s.

Latah County includes one girl between ages 13 and 17; 25 women and 15 men ages 18 to 29; three women and four men in their 30s; two women and nine men in their 40s; five women and one man in their 50s; one woman and five men in their 60s; and two women and two men in their 70s.

There were 24 new cases in Idaho County, including one girl and one boy younger than age 4; one man age 18 to 29; two women and two men in their 30s; three women and two men in their 40s; three women and two men in their 50s; one woman and three men in their 60s; two women in their 70s; and one woman in her 80s.

Clearwater County reported 11 new cases. Those include one woman and one man in their 30s; one man in his 40s; one woman and two men in their 50s; one woman and two men in their 60s; one woman in her 70s; and one man in his 80s.

In Lewis County, there were six new cases that include one man ages 18 to 29; one woman and two men in their 30s; one man in his 40s; and one woman in her 90s.

Whitman County reported 45 new cases Monday, including two females and one male younger than age 19; 13 women and 13 men ages 20 to 39; six women and four men ages 40 to 59; one woman and three men ages 60 to 79; and one man in his 80s. Four of the new patients are hospitalized; all others are stable and self-isolating.

Asotin County reported 30 new cases Sunday and 25 new cases Monday for a total case count of 441. Three are currently hospitalized.

Garfield County reported two new COVID-19 cases Monday. No other details were available.

The Lewiston School District reported 10 new cases Monday, including eight students and two staff members. The new cases include one student and one staff member at Centennial Elementary; one staff member at McGhee Elementary; one student at Jenifer Middle School; one student at Sacajawea Middle School; and five students at Lewiston High School for a total of 110 cases in the district since the start of the school year. Of those, 47 are considered active cases.

Moscow School Superintendent Greg Bailey sent a notice to parents Monday that since school started. there have been 12 confirmed cases within the school, and six have been recent.

Parents who wish to move their child from the hybrid model of instruction to the online-only model for the second semester, which starts Feb. 2, must notify their child’s school administrator by Dec. 4. The early notification allows the district to plan for teachers’ placement and class size equalization, Bailey said.

The University of Idaho reported 25 new positive test results out of 999 total tests received between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6.

The percentage of positive tests to the total is 2.50 percent. Since August, the university has had a positive test result rate of 2.43 percent, not including the positive cases in athletics prior to the start of universitywide testing.

Hedberg may be contacted at or (208) 983-2326.

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