Eastern Idaho was hit with its first COVID-19 death associated with a long-term care facility this week, as nearby facilities reported new outbreaks, signaling a wave of more coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations could come soon, according to a weekly state report posted on Friday.
The death is linked with Gables Assisted Living of Idaho Falls, which has at least 11 confirmed or probable cases of either residents or staff, the Post Register reported on Thursday. That facility was the first in Bonneville County to confirm an outbreak.
The new state reporting shows at least four long-term care facilities in Bonneville have had confirmed or probable coronavirus cases in the past week, with a total of at least 14 cases. Those include: Gables Assisted Living of Ammon, with 1 case; MorningStar of Idaho Falls, with 1 case; Good Samaritan — Idaho Falls Village, with 1 case; and Gables in Idaho Falls, with 11 cases.
Roughly half of Idaho’s more than 200 COVID-19 related deaths are linked with long-term care facilities, as of Friday.
Eastern Idaho was largely spared by large numbers of coronavirus cases until July. Its death rate consistently stayed low, in part because long-term care facilities had yet to experience coronavirus outbreaks. The residents of these facilities are often high-risk people who are vulnerable to severe complications from the coronavirus.