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COVID-19 moves westerly through Treasure Valley’s unvaccinated areas

Map showing the spread of COVID-19’s delta variant in Ada and Canyon counties, based on new cases per capita in each ZIP code. (Map by Audrey Dutton, Idaho Capital Sun)

Boise areas with high COVID-19 vaccination rates have remained pockets of lower spread

For the past month, the delta variant has continued to spread in western Ada County and made its way into Canyon County.

An analysis of vaccination rates and new cases by ZIP code shows that areas with higher vaccination rates are doing a better job of fending off the coronavirus. But in areas with a large share of unvaccinated residents, as many as 1.4% of residents got infected between July 25 and Aug. 28.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare provided the Idaho Capital Sun with data on new cases of COVID-19 by ZIP code. The records were anonymized; they cannot be used to identify an individual. The Sun merged the data with vaccination rate numbers by ZIP code, which the department had provided to Idaho Public Television’s Idaho Reports.

Previously, the Sun reported a similar trend in Treasure Valley neighborhoods. Those with higher vaccination rates had fewer COVID-19 cases between late May and mid-August. The new data include the most recent full two weeks of records, during which case numbers rose quickly and hospitals became increasingly overwhelmed.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state. As longtime Idahoans ourselves, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing Idaho. We provide in-depth reporting on legislative and state policy, health care, tax policy, the environment, Idaho’s explosive population growth and more. Our mission is relentless investigative journalism that sheds light on how decisions in Boise and beyond are made and how they affect everyday Idahoans. We aim to tell untold stories and provide data, context and analysis on the issues that matter most throughout the state. The Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. We retain full editorial independence.