Thursday, August 13, 2020
Idaho in the Red Zone but Blaine County Holds Steady
The Argyros' masked bear is pointing the way to free screenings of "Idaho From Above" every hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today--Sunday, July 19--in its theater. The theater sports socially distanced seating and refreshments from its Washington Cafe.
Sunday, July 19, 2020


Idaho is one of 18 states listed in the “COVID-19 red zone” in a 359-page document prepared for the White House.

Each of the states on the list had more than 100 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 population last week.

The report suggested that counties in the red zone should revert to more stringent protective measures, such as limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, asking residents to wear masks at all times and closing gyms and bars.

Others in the red zone included Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Ten of those states, including Idaho, also were listed in the red zone for test positivity. That means more than 10 percent of all those being tested are positive.

Idaho saw 167 new cases per 100,000 people last week, ranking it ninth among the 18 states. It saw a 59 percent rise in new cases a a "terrifying" 350 percent rise in COVID-19 deaths.

Gov. Brad Little has resisted a statewide mask mandate so far. But his office is keeping a tally of those who call saying yay or nay. You can make the call at 208-334-2100, x 5.

Boise’s spike was fueled initially by young people in their 20s crowding into bars, according to health officials at Central District Health. This week two dozen people tested positive after attending a golf tournament at a Meridian country club.

The Idaho Statesman reported photos shared on social media that showed attendees socializing indoors without masks.

There also has been a cluster of cases at the Idaho Penitentiary.

St. Luke’s Boise is asking patients without severe symptoms to avoid seeking COVID tests at the Emergency Room unless you need that type of care. Hospitals in the Treasure Valley have been experiencing a rise in moderate and severe COVID patients requiring hospitalization. In addition, testing supplies, such as reagents, are also becoming in short supply due to the rising demand for COVID testing across the nation. So hospitals generally are asking asymptomatic people to avoid being tested.

Meanwhile, the Nampa St. Luke’s 10 intensive care unit beds are full with both COVID and other patients. That’s forced the hospital to send ICU patients to Boise for medical care.

The hospital’s other 77 beds are not full. Canyon County where Nampa resides has had more COVID cases per capita than nearby Ada County, even though the more populous Ada County has recorded more cases.

Despite that, Southwest District Health officials cancelled a meeting set to visit the subject of a mask mandate after protesters led by Ammon Bundy, who took over Malheur Wildlife Refugee, forced their way inside the building.

At least one of that district’s commissioners has decried face masks on social media and suggested the pandemic is a hoax.


Idaho posted 619 new cases of coronavirus on Friday for a total of 13,752 cases. That’s 1,307 cases in the past two days, given Thursday’s 688 cases.

Blaine County gained one new case on Thursday but no new cases on Friday for 555 cases all told.

The state has gained five new deaths in the past two days. To date 118 Idahoans have died from COVID, with Valley County reporting its first--a man in his 80s.


Northwest Nazarene College and the College of Idaho announced Friday that their fall sports are postponed to spring because of COVID.


Camping reservations have skyrocketed across the country since the pandemic started. And RV and camper sales have gone through the roof.

Experts predict camping will account for 16 percent of vacation-type trips this summer, up from 11 percent previously. Colorado’s state parks have seen their highest number of campers in June over the past four years, with occupied nights increasing 22 percent over last year. And camping in other places including Pennsylvania and Minnesota, is soaring, according to Miami Herald.

Camping has turned the Stanley area into a mini New York City since before Memorial Day, and filled spots north of Ketchum, as well.


Who says kids don’t catch the  coronavirus? Of the 54,022 youth under 13 who have been tested for COVID-19 in Florida, 16,797 of them—or 31 percent—have tested positive.


Canada is extending its border closing with the United States for another 30 days until Aug. 21 in order to keep Canadians safe and its economy rolling.


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