Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Ketchum Mayor to Seek Emergency Powers
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St. Luke’s Wood River has blocked the entrance to the Emergency Department as it deals with the coronavirus.
 
Friday, March 20, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw plans to ask for emergency powers that would allow the mayor and city council to mandate social distancing, isolation and quarantine.

He will ask for an emergency ordinance establishing those powers at a special city council meeting at 4 p.m. Monday, March 23. The meeting will be streamed live and can be viewed at www.ketchumidaho.org/meetings.

Without the ordinance the city has no authority to order social distancing and other actions related to the spread of COVID-19.

Of course, it’s questionable if he needs them now that the state has ordered Blaine County residents to shelter in place.

“The ordinance is not meant to alarm the community,” said Bradshaw. “We are taking all necessary steps to be prepared for future decisions. The most important task at hand right now is to do whatever we can to protect our citizens.”

In addition to calling the meeting, Bradshaw approved a disaster declaration, which will be in effect for seven days unless extended by the City Council. The declaration gives the city another tool allowing it to access funding that would otherwise be unavailable.

Additionally, the mayor is canceling Planning and Zoning Commission meetings until the end of April and limiting city council agenda items to matters that do not require a public hearing or public comment.

Sixteen Blaine County residents plus one visitor to Blaine County have tested positive for the coronavirus since the first was announced Saturday, March 14. Blaine County is the hotspot for the disease with even more than Ada County, which has three confirmed cases.

The state has 23 altogether.

Early reports indicated that the first three women diagnosed with the disease might have gotten it while traveling. But investigators now believe they contracted the disease from visitors, said Brianna Bodily, public information office for South Central Public Health District.

“Our first reports were that it was travel-related but then we realized that was confusing and reworded it to show that we believe it was visitors coming to the area,” she said. “There was a possibility that our very first case picked it up when she left the state, but further investigation is showing that is unlikely.”

Investigations concerning point of transmissions are continuing.

 

 

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