Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Streets Empty Out as Blaine County Practices Isolation
Those who walked or jogged the bike path or skied Blaine County’s Nordic trails on Friday practiced social distancing while exchanging virtual hugs from a distance. “I think this community of x-country skiers still getting out and enjoying our sport has a healthy mental effect,” said Ed Northen, who took this picture of his wife Carmen.
Saturday, March 21, 2020



Friday was supposed to have boasted a Gallery Walk, during which the Sun Valley Museum of Art was supposed to roll out its new exhibition “Free Play.”

But Ketchum galleries were shuttered, their exhibitions for view only online.

Sturtevant’s which would have been having an end-of-the-season ski sale, was dark. And across the street a sign on the door of Zion Bank told customers they would have to make an appointment to access their lockbox, as the bank was not admitting clients off the street.

Except for a couple lone people walking down the street, Main Street Ketchum was strangely quiet as Blaine County residents stayed at home to try to cut down on the spread of coronavirus.

The seat of Sun Valley Resort, the county remains the hotbed of coronavirus in the state with 19 confirmed cases in a state that now has 32. And it was identified as having community spread after investigators were unable to pinpoint where one man contracted the virus.

“With community spread, you should know that the virus has spread through the community, meaning potentially everyone has been exposed and is a carrier,” said one doctor.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare finally released its lengthy Order to Self-Isolate Friday night. It directs everyone living in Blaine County to self-isolate at home except to provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential activities and work for essential business and government services. Violation could constitute a misdemeanor.

Homeless individuals are exempted but urged to find shelter. All businesses and government agencies are directed to cease operations in physical locations. Non-essential gatherings of any number of people are prohibited. And all non-essential travel is ordered to cease.

Essential businesses that remain operating include health care, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores, shelters, social services, media services, gas stations, auto supply stores, banks and mailing services.

Construction, water, wastewater, trash pickup, airports and telecommunications are also permitted to remain open.

Getting outdoors to exercise is not only permitted but encouraged provided people follow distancing protocol.

"Do the right thing--keep your distance and keep your smile," said Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw.

Hailey Mayor Martha Burke signed a Local Disaster Emergency Declaration, noting the imminent risk to life as a result of the coronavirus.

 “Our interest today is in the protection of public health as well as flattening the impact on local health facilities,” she said.

The declaration will be considered by the Hailey City Council during its meeting on Monday, March 23, which will be conducted through telecommunication.

Burke added that the best defense is for people to avoid contact with others.

“It is important to protect not only those who might be ill with this virus but also to reduce the number of people that may be possible targets for the virus,” she said. “The virus can’t continue its cycle without bodies, without hosts and will die out sooner as the community self-isolates.”

In fact, every person who enters a supermarket right now increases the odds that they will infect someone with the virus or that someone will affect them. Conversely, every person who stays home and out of stores reduces the opportunity for the disease to spread.

If a person spreads the disease to fewer than one additional person, the number of cases will shrink. And that not only cuts the chance of death but frees up hospital beds and doctors and gives health professionals more time to prepare.

The City of Brotherly Love learned that lesson the hard way during the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918.

Philadelphia held a Liberty Loan Parade to promote World War I government bonds just as the Spanish flu arrived in the city of 1.7 million. About 200,000 Philadelphians turned out for the parade. Within six weeks 47,000 Philadelphians had caught the flu and more than 12,000 died. Four months later the city had tallied a half-million cases and 16,000 had died.

 Those self-quarantining at this time should ban visitors —even housekeepers and dog walkers.

  • Get take-out left at the door to avoid putting deliverymen in direct physical contact.
  • Gather enough food for at least 14 days along with medicine, such as prescription drugs, Tylenol, cough lozenges and cough drops.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces like counters, tabletops, toilets, phones, keyboards and doorknobs every day, using a household cleaning spray.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses and bedding with others in home.
  • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and clean your hands after removing the gloves.
  • Wash items that have been soiled.
  • If you feel feverish, isolate yourself and limit contact with others. Don’t worry so much about stuffy or runny noses—they’re not common among COVID-19 patients. But do worry if you feel your lungs constricted or feel like you’re suffocating from fluid building up in the lungs.
  • Separate yourself from other members of the household who aren’t sick.
  • Throw used tissues in a lined trash can and wash hands after coughing or sneezing.





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