By Mike Weland
As we head into the New Year, one year after the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a novel coronavirus responsible for the greatest pandemic affecting humans in 100 years, 15,422 North Idahoans have been infected and 153 have died.
As of Christmas Eve, 98 COVID-19 sufferers were hospitalized.
As of today, even with a vaccine now beginning to be distributed, the end is nearer, but still distant. All indications are that it will continue to get worse before it gets better.
As of Christmas Eve, 511 Boundary County residents have confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19, with 169 cases active. Six of them succumbed to the effects of the virus, doubling the death toll in a month.
On November 28, Boundary County had seen 349 cases, three of them fatal.
Statewide, there have been 135,233 confirmed cases as of 9:55 a.m. today, 1,248 since Christmas Eve, and 1,349 deaths, the daily death toll in decline since December 2, when 20 Idahoans died, matching a daily death record set November 25, the day before Thanksgiving.
In Montana, the daily counts are declining, but still on a steep rise following a somewhat late arrival.
In Lincoln County, there were 11 newly confirmed cases on the day ended at 10 a.m. Christmas Eve, bringing the total count to 1,036, with 929 cases recovered, 98 active and nine dead.
Of the cases, 588 have been in the Libby area, 286 in north Lincoln County and 142 in the Troy area.
Statewide, there were 527 new cases in the 24-hours ended at 10 a.m. today, bringing the total count to 79,433, with 6,230 cases active and 919 dead.
While the rest of the nation saw a summer spike, Montana saw only a moderate increase in case count, with new cases in the low 100s. But numbers started shooting up in mid-September, culminating in the worst day for new cases November 13, when 1,624 Montanans tested positive.
Nationwide, there have been 146,512 new cases in the day ended at 12:16 p.m. Eastern today, and 1,692 deaths, putting the cumulative case count in the U.S. at 18,897,780, with 331,495 dead, far surpassing all other nations in both categories. India has the second most cases, with 10,169,118, and Brazil the second highest death rate, with 190,488.
In the Interior Health Region of British Columbia, there were 71 new cases of COVID-19 on Christmas Eve day, bringing the total count to 3,511, with 669 cases active and 18 deaths.
Across the Province, there were 582 new cases confirmed December 24, bringing the total count to 48,609, with 8,865 cases active, 341 hospitalized and 78 in critical care. There have been 808 deaths to COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.
Across Canada, there were 6,858 new cases and 123 deaths December 24. As of 12:22 p.m. Eastern today, there have been 540,718 cases and 14,767 deaths.
Worldwide, there have now been 80,182,793 cases and 1,755,556 deaths.