Monday, June 1, 2020
Expect to See COVID Cases Jump
Swiftsure ponies wore face masks Tuesday as Swiftsure riders and horses staged a parade thanking health care workers at St. Luke’s Wood River.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020


The antibody test of a thousand Blaine County residents in partnership with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Albany College tested the last of its volunteers on Monday, says Ketchum Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin.

Many of the individuals involved have been given their test results. But information regarding how many tested positive for antibodies and how many tested negative has yet to be released.

The blood samples, part of a random sampling, will be used by researchers trying to create vaccines and those studying such things as how high blood pressure medicine affects COVID-19.

Paul Ries notes that Blaine County has had only three new COVID-19 cases in the past week.


Expect to see a jump in confirmed cases of COVID-19 across South Central Idaho in the next few weeks.

South Central Public Health District officials are starting cluster testing in various organizations in its counties, which include Blaine, Twin Falls and Jerome.

“We know the virus is still active in our communities and we expect this extra testing to increase our numbers,” said Epidemiologist Tanis Maxwell. “We will continue to investigate all confirmed cases and their close contacts to slow the spread of COVID-19 wherever it is found.”

While there is a lot of interest in Blaine County, nothing has been confirmed in the Wood River Valley yet, said Brianna Bodily, public information officer for the health district. “Stay tuned,” she added.

Public health officials are also asking community members for increased vigilance as reports have surfaced of individuals and organizations who are ignoring state guidelines designed to stop the spread of the virus, putting people at risk for COVID-19.

“If you walk into a restaurant and it is crowded, leave. If your employer asks you to work when you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, remind them that it could put more employees at risk of illness. Take steps to protect your health in every environment,” said Maxwell.

Under Stage Two of the governor’s Rebound Idaho program, people are asked to avoid gatherings with more than 10 people. Wear a mask when interacting with people outside the home, particularly in public areas like grocery stores. Maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others. And wash your hands regularly.

Questions? Call 208-737-1138 or 208-737-5965 (Spanish).


The Ketchum Ranger District has been busy cutting out trails to give social distancing practitioners more elbow room.

On Tuesday they teamed up with crews to cut out the lower portion of the Bald Mountain Trail, which is now open to the Roundhouse Lane cat road. They also have cut out trails in the vicinity of Proctor Mountain and on Saddle Trail between Chocolate and Oregon gulches.

Volunteers with the Wood River Trails Coalition have cut out trails in Deer Creek. Among them: Howard’s, North Fork Deer Creek and Deer Creek. Kinsey is cut out on the south side and the Curran side of the Wolftone-Curran Trail is cut out from the top of Kinsey down to Deer Creek, as is the Kinsey-Curran Connector.

The Ketchum Ranger District has also cleaned drains, brushed trails and cut out downed trees in Adams Gulch. Trails getting a makeover are Shady, Sunny, Citizens, Eve, Serpent, a portion of the Adams Rib Trail and Fruit, which had 20 trees cut out by one volunteer.


Idaho gained 21 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday for a total of 2,476 cases since mid-March. It gained two additional deaths, as well, bringing the state's total to 77.

Both deaths were in Twin Falls County, which has now had six deaths in six days. Twin Falls County has had 17 deaths all told.

Blaine County added just one new confirmed case of coronavirus, bringing its total to 509.


China’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics is testing a drug that researchers hope could not only treat COVID-19 but prevent the virus from infecting cells. The treatment, which involves injecting neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, is about to go into clinical trials. And, if successful, researchers say the drug could be ready for use in time for winter outbreaks, according to AFP.


Fish Tales Bar & Grill inOcean City, Md., has installed social distancing tables for its outdoor patio. The bumper tables boast an inner tube and wheels allowing customers to stand in the middle and walk around while chatting.

They will be used for customers who are waiting for tables or who would normally be sitting at the bar, says CNN.


A Roman Catholic priest in Detroit is using a squirt gun to shoot holy water at his parishioners through car windows.


The blood of blood donors in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama are being tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Not only will it provide information about how many people might have been exposed to the virus without showing symptoms but the tests will identify people who can be COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors to help the critically ill.


An oncology center in Michigan is offering drive-through oncology treatments to protect cancer patients during the pandemic. The service offers things like chemo shots so patients can get some cancer treatment services without leaving their cars.


The rideshare company Uber, which has urged drivers to stay home for the past two months, is relaxing lockdown. But it is now requiring both drivers and passengers to wear masks. And drivers must upload a selfie of their masked selves before picking up passengers.




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