Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Men Who Care to Aid Those Affected by COVID as Cases Climb
Organizers of the TEDxSunValley Countdown on Climate Change insisted on masks and social distancing at the outdoor portion of their event on Saturday.
Monday, October 12, 2020



100 Men Who Care will continue their mission of caring for those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic when they meet by Zoom on Tuesday.

The men will decide at that meeting which of four organizations to make a donation to that are helping valley residents pay rent, doctor bills, groceries and child care.

Paul Ries’ graph shows how the number of new COVID cases in Blaine County have spiked since Sept. 10.

Their move comes as Blaine County registered its biggest days for new COVID cases since April 10.

100 Men Who Care will meet by Zoom at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, to hear presentations concerning Blaine County Charitable Fund, Blaine County Housing Foundation, Salvation Army and ProjecT.O.O.L.S.  Each will then pool $100 for the organization or organizations members vote to support during this go-around.

You can join the meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81851452269?pwd=SWFEOE5ZL2NzVDIzbmtQNVJyQklMUT09. The meeting ID is 818 5145 2269. The Passcode: 7XaVhK.

The men gifted $11,400 to the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Cooper-Tache Fund to teach youngsters to ski through Rotarippers in January. Then, in April as the pandemic shut down the valley,  they gave more than $20,000 to organizations on the front lines, such as The Hunger Coalition, The Advocates, The Crisis Hotline, NAMI and The Senior Connection.

The number of new cases in Blaine County took a sharp turn upwards during the second week of September.

In July they gave more than $12,000 to organizations trying to Close the Education Gap after schools retreated to online learning. Organizations receiving funds are I Have a Dream Foundation, Blaine County Education Foundation, Nosotros Unidos, and The Space.

Marty Lyon, the co-founder of 100 Men Who Care, noted that 100 Men Who Care has given $44,250 during the first three quarterly meetings of this year. They’ve given $236,450 since their first meeting in February 2013.

“Again, due to COVID and the recent increases in cases here in Blaine County and elsewhere, many of our neighbors are unemployed or underemployed. They need help,” he added. “I know we are making a difference in the lives of many of our neighbors.”

Blaine County reported 14 new COVID cases on Saturday—the county’s largest number since April 10. Then it outdid itself again on Sunday with 17 new cases for a total of 762 since mid-March. That’s 148 new cases since Sept. 14 when the county had 614 cases.

Blaine County has been in the orange risk category, according to the Harvard Global Health Institute’s key metrics for COVID suppression. The Harvard metrics are more stringent than South Central Public Health District’s and are done every week. SCPHD looks at cases per 10,000 every two weeks.

Last week Hailey Mayor Martha Burke convened a special meeting of the City Council to tighten the city’s emergency health order enacted earlier during the pandemic. The revised health order would require all residents, including children as young as 2, to wear masks in public. And those who do not wear masks because of medical exemptions would be required to wear face shields in public.

Exemptions would continue to be granted for those eating or drinking, those spaced at least six feet apart outside, those who have undergone certain medical procedures and law enforcement officers.

The measure, which will get one more review at Tuesday’s Council meeting, also restricts gatherings to 10 people inside and 50 outside. Exemptions will be given schools, health-care facilities and sports gatherings.

Burke said that the majority of new cases seem to originate in weddings and private parties. The city could move into the critical red risk category if residents don’t get more serious about social distancing and mask wearing, she added.

A lot of the new cases statewide have been attributed to those under 30. Locally, Wood River High School has reported eight student cases since Sept. 8; Alturas Elementary, 4; Bellevue Elementary, 2,and Carey School and Wood River Middle School, one each. Both Hailey Elementary and Wood River High School have had two staff test positive in that time.

Idaho remains in the red zone. KTVB reported that Idaho had its worst day ever on Friday, Oct. 9, with 821 new cases setting a single-day record. The Idaho Statesman reported 777 new cases that day. And the state itself reported 662 cases.

The previous record was July 16 when the state recorded 681.

On Saturday the state’s seven-day moving averages of new cases reached its highest point ever at 597.1 That surpassed the original high set just one day before at 578.0. The previous high was 568.9 on July 19. The state reported another 356 cases on Sunday, a day when not all health districts report, to take its total to 48,066. And its seven-day moving average bumped to 621.4.

At least 507 Idahoans have lost their lives to the disease.

Ada County remains the state’s hotspot, with Canyon County its second. In response, Boise State University said that no fans will be allowed in the stadium to watch Boise State Broncos when they start their season on Oct. 24 but that they may be able to buy cutouts of themselves for $50 to sit in their seats. They will be allowed to take the cutouts home when the season is over.

BSU is not switching to online learning, however, saying that the classroom is the safest place students can be right now. But officials released a statement Friday saying they plan on ramping up testing and contact tracing. They currently have the capacity to do 1,000 tests a day; they plan to do as many as 4,000 a day and they’ve hired 30-plus new contact tracers.

The university also plans to begin wastewater testing, which has alerted other universities to a pending outbreak so they can start contact tracing before the outbreak grows.

The university has had just over 400 cases since school began with nearly 250 of those off-campus students. But this week the cases dropped from 97 to 53, according to the university’s dashboard.


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