Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Youth Warned About Coronavirus as COVID Cases Spike Across Idaho
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Jack Tierney performs a temperature check on his grandfather Dusty Witmer. Witmer’s Pioneer Saloon is checking its employees’ temperatures and utilizing facemasks in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
   
Friday, June 19, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The South Central Public Health District warned Thursday that the rate of coronavirus among those between ages 18 and 39 remains high across South-Central Idaho.

Health officials urged young adults to be extra careful with their health. And they urged residents to take precautions to prevent exposure to young adults.

“They are less likely to die from COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get very sick,” said Melody Bowyer, SCPHD director. “Cases of stroke, blood clots leading to amputation and more severe symptoms have been reported in previously healthy and young adults.

 
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Blaine County reported two new cases of coronavirus on Thursday—its first new cases in eight days. Meanwhile, Idaho reported 111 new cases bringing its total to 3,743, said graph maker Paul Ries.
 

“If you contract COVID-19, there is also the possibility of unintentionally passing the disease on to someone who won’t fare as well, like a grandparent or loved one with a compromised immune system.”

Young people are often those working in essential jobs where they are exposed to hundreds of people every day, noted Logan Hudson, SCPHD Public Health Division director. That puts them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

“We can protect them by wearing masks and urging the people around us to practice social distancing—keeping six feet between ourselves and others who don’t live in our household.”

Young adults and the rest of the community can also protect themselves and their community by washing their hands regularly and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, Hudson added.

Boise and Meridian have seen spikes in cases among young adults who have crowded into crowded bars. Sixty-nine people are now believed to have exposed others by going to bars and nightclubs while infectious.

“If an area becomes too crowded, go somewhere else,” said Bowyer. “You have more power to protect your health than anyone else.”

Questions? Call 208-737-5965 for information in Spanish and 208-737-1138 for information in English.

IDAHO COVID CASES SOARING

During the month of May Idaho averaged 27 new COVID-19 cases a day. That number jumped to an average 40 during the first half of June.

On Thursday the state reported 111 new cases, the day after it reported 92. It reported 78 on Tuesday and 54 on Monday.

Ada and Canyon counties have seen nearly a hundred new cases in the past week with new infections  concentrated among those in their 20s, many of whom crowded into Boise and Meridian bars.

Gov. Brad Little told the AARP this week that part of it is due to increased testing.

Asked why he didn’t mandate mask wearing, he said no state has effectively mandated people wear masks even though, he said, the research “is getting more and more compelling that the masks are a very, very effective way of stopping the spread.”

Face masks, for instance, are believed to have prevented two hairdressers in southern Missouri from spreading the virus to 140 clients they came in contact with while working while sick.

Actually, some governors have told their citizens to wear masks, California being the latest to do so. And many more cities have done so.

UTAH SPIKING, TOO

Utah’s state epidemiologist this week said that the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in Utah is higher than ever.

“So I’m urging you to limit the number of close contacts you have by practicing social distancing, wearing a face covering when you’re in public places, practicing good hand hygiene and staying home when you’re ill, no matter how mild the symptoms,” Dr. Angela Dunn said, according to the Deseret News.”

COVID-19 cases in Utah have been increasing daily for the past month, with new cases numbering over 200 a day.

VISITOR CENTER REOPENS

The Sun Valley Visitor Center is now manning its corner in the Starbucks building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Staff will be masked and offering copious amounts of hand sanitizer to those who want to access brochures. The center plans to move towards a more- touch-free interface with fewer physical brochures.

One person said she did not favor digital brochures over physical. “As cautious as I am, I really am not worried about handling paper,” she said.

SCHOOL HELP

The State of Idaho has formed two new committees to help schools safely reopen in the fall. One will focus on reopening public schools. The other will focus on the digital divide-the gap between students’ access to the technology and tools they need to do their schoolwork if in-person school is not in session.

BEST BLOOD DURING A COVID PANDEMIC?

Those with Type A blood have a 45 percent higher risk of becoming infected than those with other blood types. And they’re symptoms were worse. Those with Type O were only 65 percent as likely to become infected as others, a recent study of Europeans showed.

A PANDEMIC VACATION?

The White House is considering a tax break that would spur Americans to take a vacation. The Explore America tax credit would be included in the next coronavirus stimulus package to benefit the tourism industry, which has taken a big hit during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Travel Association has proposed a tax incentive of up to $4,000 per household. It would allow for a refund of half of qualified travel expenses through the end of 2021. Expenses would be defined as any purchase over $50 on meals, lodging, recreation, transportation, amusement or entertainment, business meetings or events and gasoline.

The travel industry contributed $2.6 trillion to the economy and supported 15.8 million American jobs during the year before the pandemic, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

The United States is not the only country considering such incentives. Switzerland is considering giving every citizen a voucher to be spent on a staycation. And Japan is considering travel vouchers covering lodging and dining.

CHURCH SPREAD

A rural church in LaGrande, Ore., has become the epicenter of Oregon’s largest outbreak, with 236 people testing positive.

BORDER REMAINS CLOSED

Don’t count on that trip to Banff just yet—Canada has extended its border closing with the United States to July 21. Canadians are scared they will catch the coronavirus from Americans.

ALBERTSONS ENDS HERO PAY

Albertsons has ended the $2-an-hour COVID raise it gave workers during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the Boise-based company, which is the nation’s second largest grocery chain, is awarding in-store workers separate Appreciation Pay bonuses equal to $4 per hour for hours worked from March 15 through June 13.

COVID COWS TO THE RESCUE?

A South Dakota company has genetically engineered cows to give them an immune system that’s part human in order to have them produce disease-fighting human antibodies to COVID-19.

The company hopes to start human trials next month giving humans antibodies derived from the cows’ plasma that would fight the virus.

 

~  Today's Topics ~


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