Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Rising COVID Cases Could Complicate Next Transition, Bridge Players Fight More Than COVID
Louise Wilson Noyes was there when lightning struct a mature tree out East Fork Friday night. Fire crews drove to the top of the ridge from Ohio Gulch and got right on it, she noted. The storm didn’t help out much as it was accompanied by very little rain, she added.
Sunday, June 7, 2020



Idaho has gone five straight days without reporting a new death due to the coronavirus. That’s the first time that’s happened since the first deaths were reported on March 26.

Of 83 deaths 52 have occurred among residents of long-term care facilities.

Now with 3,111 cases, Idaho’s COVID curve shows no signs of flattening, says Paul Ries.

Most indicators are good for Idaho to enter its fourth and final stage of reopening despite new confirmed cases of COVID-19 being on the rise, according to the Idaho Statesman.

The state as of June 4 was averaging 10.7 emergency visits a day versus 10.2 per day between May 25 and June 8. That’s below the 20-per-day threshold.

Emergency room visits are averaging 1.3 per day versus 1.79 during the previous 14 days. That’s below the 2-per-day threshold.

The questionable area lies in the area of new cases.

The state is averaging 39.8 new coronavirus cases a day, versus 28.8 new cases during the previous 14 days and 24.7 during Stage One of Idaho Rebound. Idaho has added 44 or more confirmed cases four of the past five days, including 57 on Friday.

This poses a red flag, but the state can still advance if the positive testing percentage is under 5 percent, as it has been for the past seven weeks. That information has not been made available at this time.

On the plus side, the state is not facing excess demand for hospital care due to COVID-19 at this time. The state has at least 479 available ventilators, 112 ICU beds and a 10-day supply of N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns and gloves at this time.


Sun Valley Bridge went online to protect bridge players when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Wood River YMCA. And it has remained online even as the Y has begun reopening.

So, what could go wrong online?

Well, plenty, bridge players found out recently.

Since players are tuning in from all over the country, players in one part of the country have found they’ve been disrupted by stormy weather in other parts of the country.

On one recent day, Susy Donavan and Nancy Donavan had to leave to take cover when a tornado in Vermont disrupted their game. A few games later Mitzi Miller left her computer without explanation. She returned, with apologies, explaining that a sudden tropical storm was about to blow the patio furniture through the glass door at her beach home on the Panama Coast.

“Who would ever have imagined challenges like these?” asked Co-organizer Jo Murray.

The club is taking tiny steps back to in-person playing however.

The Sun Valley Bridge Club will have a retreat Tuesday, June 22-25, at the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch near Stanley, complete with coronavirus precautions. A second retreat is scheduled for Aug. 27-30.

When bridge players do return to playing bridge in person, they will use iPads and computers, rather than handling cards and bidding boxes, said Murray.

"We're keeping in touch with the Y about when it might be safe to return, and it's almost certainly going to be with iPads and laptops or even cell phones, as you can play bridge on most smartphones these days."


The State of Idaho has employed a new system called Sara Alert to manage contact tracing. The secure software tool allows Idahoans to report symptoms—a step that will help health officials keep abreast of how the virus is spreading.

The tool was developed by the McLean, Va.-based MITRE, which supports such government agencies as the FAA and Department of Defense, in collaboration with major public health organizations. Its use is free and it’s been utilized by other states already.

Those who come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID will be encouraged to use it for 14 days following their exposure, reporting each day whether they have COVID symptoms. Those reviewing the information will be able to assess whether the individual doing the reporting needs to seek medical attention. State officials say they will not use apps to monitor a person’s location.

South Central Public Health District is currently taking applications for contact tracers and COVID investigators as Idaho ramps up contact tracing. If interested, visit

For more information about Idaho’s contact tracing, visit


A California woman is suing Boise-based Albertsons because she says she paid almost double the regular price for toilet paper at a grocery store chain owned by Albertsons during the coronavirus pandemic.

The shopper said she paid nearly $19 for Angel Soft toilet paper during that time at a California Safeway store. She claims it was above the store’s regular price of $10. California Gov. Gavin Newsom had issued an executive order prohibiting price increases of 10 percent or more on essential items during the time shoppers were hoarding disinfectants and toilet paper.

Others, including Walmart, Costco and Amazon, have also been accused of price gouging eggs and other items, according to McClatchy News. Grocery prices in April saw the highest single-month increase this country has seen since 1974.



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