Public Health – Idaho North Central District reported 66 new cases of COVID-19 in its five-county region Wednesday, raising its total to 7,307.

Latah County’s share of new cases was 12, including one patient younger than 4 years old, two others younger than 18, four women between the ages of 18 and 29, two women in their 30s, a man and a woman in their 70s and a woman in her 80s.

There have been 2,136 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began. 1,737 people have recovered from the disease and six have died — three in the past three days, including a woman in her 30s whose death was among two reported Tuesday.

With vaccination programs continuing to roll out as the year comes to a close, health district Spokesman Scott Schlegel urged the public not to let its guard down.

Gritman Medical Center said in a Wednesday news release there have been 27 patients admitted to the hospital for inpatient care who tested positive for COVID-19 — up from 26 a week ago. The hospital reported its seven-day positivity rate dropped somewhat from last week’s 7.36 percent to 5.26 percent.

“December has been the deadliest month in the U.S. since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and January is predicted to be worse,” Schlegel said in an email Wednesday. “The Good news is we have started to distribute both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in our region but we need to be prepared for a slow rollout as zero waste is the goal.”

According to information on the health district’s webpage, the next phase of vaccinations in Idaho, targeting essential workers and adults aged 75 and older, will begin in February. Vaccines are expected to be made available to the general public starting in May.

Also on Wednesday, Whitman County reported 13 new cases of COVID-19, pushing its total to 2,767.

New cases reported Wednesday include two people younger than 19, two women and three men between the ages of 20 and 39, two women and one man between 40 and 59, a man and a woman between 60 and 79 and one man older than 80.

Nine people in the county are currently hospitalized with the disease and total deaths remain flat at 22.

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