Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Blaine County Stays Red as Idaho Records Record Hospitalizations
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Could it be this masked fiberglass dog at the Wood River YMCA is telling us the way to exit the pandemic is through a mask?
   
Friday, October 30, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

COVID GRAPH BY PAUL RIES

Blaine County remained in the red zone—at critical risk for community spread on Thursday.

The county has been in the critical zone for several weeks, according to the Harvard Global Health institute, as new COVID cases continue to mount.

 
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What’s more, contact tracers are having trouble keeping up with their work due to the surge in cases around the area.

The positivity rate, meaning the percentage of people who test positive for COVID of all those being tested, is 10 percent. Health officials say the county needs to be under 5 percent.

The average new cases per 100,000 residents during the period from Oct. 18-24 is 34.1.

Seventeen people between the ages of 50 and 59 tested positive; 10 between 40 and 49 and seven between 18 and 29.

Five people tested positive in the 70-plus age group, the 60-69 age group and the 30-29 age group.

Two youth between 11 and 13 tested positive and four between 14 and 17.

South Central Public Health District continues to investigate two outbreaks in long-term care facilities as well as small clusters in congregate settings and work places.

HOSPITALIZATIONS SOAR

Even as Idaho seeks to send COVID patients to Washington, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached record highs. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported a record 286 hospitalizations statewide on Monday, the most recent day for which data was available. That’s up from 274 hospitalizations three days earlier. There were 72 patients in intensive care on Monday.

Idaho had its deadliest day since the pandemic started with 18 COVID-related deaths on Thursday.

CSI LOWERS THE BOOM

Trustees for the College of Southern Idaho have asked city, county and state officials to implement a mask mandate throughout the Magic Valley. CSI President L. Dean Fisher said the college is doing what it can to control the virus on campus but those efforts will not work if there’s not a concerted effort.

Interestingly, Russia has ordered a national mask mandate as infections surge in that country.

NEW COVID CLINIC

Saint Alphonsus has opened a COVID-only clinic to care for coronavirus patients who have either been discharged from the hospital or who are not sick enough to require hospitalization. The clinic, located off Federal Way in Boise, will also treat long-haulers who are dealing with problems associated with COVID months after infection.

The clinic will also provide telehealth appointments.

HELP FOR REMOTE LEARNING FAMILIES

Families who have incurred extra costs educating children because of hybrid learning programs can apply for help through the Strong Families, Strong Students program. The new program uses federal relief funds.

Each student is eligible for $1,500 up to $3,500 per family. Funds can be used for tutoring sessions, school supplies, internet expenses and other things. Families have until Dec. 8 to apply at www.strongfamilies.idaho.gov.

NAY TO MASKS

The Panhandle Health District board repealed its mask mandate for northern Idahoans this week even as hospital authorities at Kootenai Health said they were 99 percent full and on the verge of sending sick people to Seattle. Kootenai Health has already doubled up patients in rooms and ordered extra beds. Hospitals in nearby Spokane also are bulging at the seams.

COVID COMPLAINTS

Montana has launched an online COVID complaint form for residents to report violations of COVID-19 health orders. The state already has such forms to help it investigate cases of salmonella and other public health concerns.

The state’s health department is suing businesses that fail to follow restrictions meant to prevent the spread of the disease.

GOOD NEWS ABOUT IMMUNITY

A new study offers good news for those who have had COVID. The study shows that immunity lasts at least five months and probably longer.

“While some reports have come out saying antibodies to this virus go away quickly, we have found just the opposite—that more than 90 percent of people who were mildly or moderately ill produce an antibody response strong enough to neutralize the virus, and the response is maintained for many months,” Florian Krammer, a professor of vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai said, according to CNN.

MARATHON POSTPONED

The 125th Boston Marathon has been postponed from spring to Fall 2021 because of the pandemic. The blockbuster race is usually held the third week in April. The 2020 race was held virtually.

AUSTRALIA RELAXES

In a hopeful sign, Melbourne, Australia has moved out of lockdown after no new cases or deaths from the coronavirus for the first time in four months. Australian health authorities say they have a myriad of testing capabilities in place to allow them to relax.

CEMETERIES CLOSED

Mexican authorities have asked cemeteries to close ahead of the Day of the Dead to prohibit a wave of coronavirus from people gathering together.

IN SEARCH OF OUTDOOR DINING

A heated table with duvet-like blankets that trap heat, keeping diners warm won a Chicago design competition looking for ways to keep outside dining attractive during a winter of COVID. The winner based it on the Japanese kotatsu heated table she saw while teaching English in Japan.

Even now, many Japanese homes don’t have central heating, but they heat the body instead of heating the air, according to Business Insider.

 

 

~  Today's Topics ~


Hailey Tightens Restrictions on Outdoor Gatherings, Loosens Restriction on Businesses

Earthquakes the Focus of Avalanche Talk

Homeowners Asked to Practice Fire Burning Safety in Wake of Two Fires
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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