A day after the election, public health officials reported 82 new cases and two more deaths from COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the region’s total cases to 5,122 and deaths to 57 as infections surge here and across the nation.

Whitman and Garfield counties in southeastern Washington each reported a new death from the virus. A woman older than 80 died in Whitman County. Garfield County did not share demographics such as gender and age for the first COVID-19 death there.

The Lewiston Fire Department has had six positive cases among its staff in the past 2½ weeks, Chief Travis Myklebust said. Three others were quarantined after exposure to the disease, and one is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

Two returned to duty Monday, and another three should return to active duty today, Friday and Saturday, Myklebust said. In the meantime, the department has been filling the vacancies with reserve firefighters and overtime.

The firefighters who tested positive have all been sick with symptoms, he said.

“It has helped that they all haven’t gone down at one time and are somewhat staggered,” Myklebust said. “All are returning to work within two weeks, so that is good news.”

The Lewiston School District has had 80 total COVID-19 cases, with 35 active cases. There were 30 cases reported in the past seven days in the school district. Forty-six students and 34 staff members have contracted the disease, and there are 25 active student cases and 10 active cases among staff members. The school district has 4,588 total students and 999 staff members.

New cases include two at McSorely Elementary and one each at Jenifer Middle School and Lewiston High School. There is one active case among staff at district operations; there are 14 active student cases and one active case among the staff at the high school; three active student cases and two active cases among the staff at Sacajawea Middle School; one active student case at Jenifer Middle School; two active student cases and one active case among staff at Webster Elementary; there is one active student case and one active case among staff at Orchards Elementary; one active student case and two active cases among staff at McSorely Elementary; one active student case at Centennial Elementary and two active student cases and two active cases among staff at Camelot Elementary.

Schools and classes will remain open in the “green” phase and buildings have been cleaned and disinfected. A temporary, mandatory mask order is in place at all Lewiston schools this week and next, which requires students and staff to wear masks at all times.

The Clarkston School District has had 17 cases since the school year began and seven of those cases are active. School officials announced Wednesday middle and high school students would go to online-only instruction for the next two weeks because of rising cases in Asotin County and large numbers of student absences.

The Nezperce School District reported Wednesday that two staff members tested positive. A message posted to Facebook by Superintendent Shawn Tiegs said the school district’s protocols, including mask wearing and physical distancing, would continue, with no additional students or staff members needing to quarantine.

There were 82 new cases reported Wednesday by public health officials in the region comprising Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties in north central Idaho and Asotin, Garfield and Whitman counties in southeastern Washington.

Public Health – Idaho North Central District reported 67 new cases, while public health officials in southeastern Washington reported 15 new cases. There have been 2,868 cases in the five-county health district in north central Idaho, up 458 cases over the past seven days. There have been 29 deaths because of COVID-19 in the district; no new deaths have been reported in the past seven days.

The three southeastern Washington counties have accounted for 2,254 cases and 28 deaths since the pandemic began. There have been 164 new cases reported in the three counties over the past seven days and six more deaths. There have been a total of 5,122 cases and 57 deaths reported in the region. The region has had 622 new cases over the past seven days reported by public health officials.

Nez Perce County public health officials reported 32 new cases. The county has had 1,102 cases and 24 deaths. There are 568 active cases, and 510 people have recovered. There have been 237 new cases reported in the county over the past seven days.

The new cases include a boy and a girl between the ages of 0 and 4; a boy and two girls between the ages of 5 and 12; a boy and a girl between the ages of 13 and 17; three women between the ages of 18 and 29; three men and two women in their 30s; two men and four women in their 40s; two men and four women in their 50s; two women in their 60s; two women in their 70s and one man in his 80s.

The Nez Perce Tribe’s Nimiipuu Health reported 11 new cases, spokeswoman Kayeloni Scott said.

Latah County public health officials reported 24 new cases. The county has had 1,061 cases and one death. There are 353 active cases, and 707 people have recovered. There have been 116 new cases reported in the last seven days.

The new cases include one boy between the ages of 5 and 12; three women and two men between the ages of 18 and 29; three women and three men in their 30s; two women and two men in their 40s; three women and one man in their 50s; two women and one man in their 60s and one woman in her 70s.

Asotin County reported seven new cases. The county has had 354 cases and eight deaths. Four people from Asotin County were hospitalized because of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, Public Health Administrator Brady Woodbury said. The county has had 90 new cases reported over the past seven days.

Idaho County public health officials reported seven new cases. The county has had 438 cases and one death. There are 181 active cases, and 256 people have recovered. The county has had 64 new cases reported over the past seven days. The new cases include four men and one woman between the ages of 18 and 29; a man in his 30s and a man in his 50s.

Whitman County public health officials reported four new cases. The county has had 1,858 cases and 19 deaths. Six people are currently hospitalized in the county because of COVID-19. There have been 54 new cases reported in the county over the past seven days. The new cases include one male between the ages of 0 and 19; one man between the ages of 20 and 39; one woman between the ages of 40 and 59 and one woman over the age of 80.

Garfield County public health officials reported four new cases. The county has had 42 cases and one death. There are 13 active cases, and 28 people have recovered. All of the cases are adults older than 20. There are 11 people waiting for COVID-19 test results in the county.

Clearwater County public health officials reported three new cases. The county has had 171 cases and no deaths. There are 70 active cases, and 101 people have recovered. The new cases include a woman in her 60s; a woman in her 70s and a man in his 80s. There have been 26 new cases reported in the county in the past seven days.

Lewis County public health officials did not report any new cases. The county has had 96 cases and three deaths. There are 45 active cases, and 48 people have recovered. There have been 15 new cases reported in the county over the past seven days.

Washington state reported 1,469 new cases and 16 more people died. Washington has had 111,480 cases and 2,416 deaths. There have been 8,735 people hospitalized in the Evergreen State because of COVID-19, and 352 were hospitalized in the past week. The state reported 63 more deaths and 6,737 new cases over the past seven days.

Idaho reported 1,290 new cases and 17 more deaths. The Gem State has had 68,314 cases, and 664 Idahoans have died. Idaho reported 6,529 new cases and 65 more deaths over the past week.

Idaho reported 296 people were hospitalized in 48 hospitals statewide because of COVID-19 as of Monday, the latest date of available data, marking the highest recorded hospitalizations for a single day in the state since the pandemic began. Idaho reported 77 patients were in an intensive care unit in hospitals across the state because of COVID-19. Monday’s ICU total is the third highest since the pandemic began, behind Saturday and last Thursday when there were 82 and 78 Idahoans in an ICU because of COVID-19.

There were 2,730 Idahoans hospitalized because of COVID-19 since the pandemic began through Monday. Over the past week of available data, 216 Idahoans were hospitalized because of the disease. Hospitalizations in the Gem State include 59 younger than 18, up three from a week ago; 171 between the ages of 18 and 29, up nine from a week ago; 203 in their 30s, up 11 from a week ago; 265 in their 40s, up 13 from a week ago; 342 in their 50s, up 25 from a week ago; 508 in their 60s, up 33 from a week ago; 626 in their 70s, up 68 from a week ago; 440 in their 80s, up 45 from a week ago, 112 in their 90s, up eight from a week ago and four people 100 or older, up one from a week ago.

Idaho reported 103 available ICU beds and 451 ventilators in the state’s hospitals as of Wednesday.

Idaho reported 372 men and 292 women have died because of COVID-19. Men are dying at a rate of 41.5 per 100,000, up 4.2 people over the past week. Women are dying at a rate of 32.8 per 100,000, up 3.1 people over the past week. Blaine and Twin Falls counties each reported their first deaths attributed to the flu Wednesday, both people also had COVID-19.

Idaho deaths from COVID-19 include one between the ages of 18 and 29; five in their 30s, 14 in their 40s, up one from a week ago; 24 in their 50s, up two from a week ago; 89 in their 60s, up seven from a week ago; 171 in their 70s, up 22 from a week ago and 360 who were 80 or older, up 33 from a week ago.

Wells may be contacted at mwells@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2275.

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