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Ketchum Asks Citizens to Participate Virtually as State Sets COVID Record
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Sunday, January 16, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The City of Ketchum is urging the public to participate virtually in upcoming public meetings as Idaho and Blaine County continue to set records for numbers of new coronavirus cases.

Idaho’s open meeting law requires that public meetings are open and accessible to those who choose to attend in person. Those who do choose to attend in person are required to wear masks in accordance with Ketchum Health Order 21-02. And seating in the Community Meeting Room is spaced for six-foot physical distancing.

Those who prefer to attend remotely at this time can access information at www.ketchumidaho.org/meetings

Hailey’s Mayor Martha Burke earlier this week requested that citizens attend Hailey meetings virtually.

Idaho set a new record for new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day on Friday, Jan. 14, with 3,266 cases. It had already set a record 2,821 new cases on Wednesday, breaking the previous high on Dec. 9, 2020.

And that doesn’t count a backlog of more than 20,000 cases because health officials can’t keep up with the surge.

The state’s positivity rate for the week ending Jan. 8 was 25.7 percent.

The risk level for Blaine County moved to critical this week, according to the South Central Public Health District. The county reported 257 new cases over a seven-day period ending Friday for an average of 36.5 cases a day.

Officials for St. Luke’s Magic Valley reported this week that they have reached their capacity in the ICU and will not accept transfers from other hospitals for patients needing ICU care. That said, they will try accommodate patients from St. Luke’s Wood River since the outlook in the ICU shifts daily, even hourly.

Saint Alphonsus had to close three urgent care clinics on weekends because of staff shortages due to infection or exposure. And St. Luke’s had 250 employees out on Thursday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Souza told KTVB.

State health officials warned this week that Idaho hospitals may soon have to reinstate crisis standards of care where doctors might have to choose who gets life-saving treatment and non-emergency surgeries and procedures would be postponed.

 

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