Idaho governor assures COVID-19 testing, tracing and hospital space as cases increase

iStock/zstockphotos(WASHINGTON) — BY: KELLY MCCARTHY

As the country continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a new surge in cases has set record highs in many states.

Idaho’s governor joined ABC News’ “What You Need to Know” to discuss his state’s recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. The state reported 148 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of probably and confirmed cases to 4,402.

“We’re trying to stay ahead of this and, as it is with most of the states, it’s among our young population,” Little explained. “We’ve got 100% of all businesses open and we’re just seeing a lot of spread as a result of the bars being open to be real blunt about it.”

Little added that Idaho is “one of only two states without any infection at all in our incarcerated population.”

New cases of the virus have gradually increased since earlier this month. While Little acknowledged this, he said he doesn’t expect to enforce a statewide shutdown.

“We’ve got 44 counties in Idaho. Nine of them, we have no confirmed cases, so just because you’ve got a problem in one area, we shouldn’t have to penalize those other areas,” he said.

 The governor assured that the state has “lots of hospital capacity” and has worked with federal partners to get enough personal protective equipment.

“We’ve increased hospital capacity,” he said. “We got a lot more testing and a lot more tracing. We’re ramping all that up. So our ability to handle it is much better than it was 100 days ago.”

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