Wednesday, March 3, 2021
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Valley Residents Question Vaccine Urgency, Hospital Again Accepts Children
Will Heidel and his wife Kim Havens have kept the Heidel family busy with COVID-sensitive outings throughout the winter. Among them, this masked party they organized on the patio to celebrate Steve and Lynne Heidel’s 50th anniversary on Dec. 19.
Monday, January 4, 2021



The Idaho State Board of Education has extended the deadline for families to apply for reimbursement from the Strong Families, Strong Students grants. The grant, designed to help families pay for the costs associated with remote learning has been extended from Dec. 31, 2020, to Jan. 8, 2021.

More than 18,000 applicants have received grants so far.

Idaho recorded 1,122 new cases of a coronavirus over the holiday weekend for a total of 142,199 cases since the pandemic began. Twelve more Idahoans have died bringing the death toll to 1,448.


St. Luke’s Magic Valley has announced that it will kick off the new year by again admitting pediatric patients. The hospital stopped admitting most pediatric patients in October, transferring them to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, as COVID-19 patients filled the hospital.


Eye on Sun Valley has received numerous emails from readers upset that there seems to be no sense of urgency in administering vaccines as deaths from COVID-19 continue to mount.

Blaine County reported just six new cases of coronavirus since New Year’s Day for a total of 1,568 cases since mid-March.

The state has administered just 19,119 vaccines as of Sunday, Jan. 3.

“Administering vaccines from 9 to 5 is not going to cut it,” wrote one reader. “I would go to a 2:30 a.m. appointment if that made it work faster.”

In contrast, Israel vaccinated more than 10 percent of its 9.2 million citizens in the first two weeks it had a vaccine. The country vaccinated more than 150,000 people on three consecutive days, injecting its millionth person on Christmas Day. The country has now vaccinated more than half of its two million people considered to be at-risk, according to NBC News.

“It’s not a race against other countries. It’s a race against the virus,” said Boaz Lev, head of the Israeli Health Ministry’s advisory committee or coronavirus vaccines.

The country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally brokered a large number of Pfizer vaccines compared to his country’s population, pressed 700 soldiers into work administering the vaccines and repackaged the vaccines, so they could be taken to nursing homes and other facilities in remote areas rather than requiring people to travel for a vaccine.

The fast inoculation rate bodes well for the Israeli economy, as recovery could begin as early as the second quarter, microeconomic strategist Jonathan Katz told Bloomberg.

The United States, meanwhile, will take 10 years to inoculate enough Americans to get the pandemic under control at the rate it is going, according to an analysis done by NBC News this past week.

And Idaho is currently looking at the same trajectory. Idaho health officials say part of the problem is that appointments have to be spaced 15 minutes apart  with those receiving the vaccines socially distanced as they await to see if they have an adverse reaction. But they hope to start jabbing more arms now that they have the Moderna vaccine, which can be more easily moved to rural areas.


The Idaho Vaccine Committee’s decision to fall in line with the Centers for Disease Control’s decision to inoculate those 75 and older and essential workers such as teachers and grocery workers has also predictably resulted in a big debate.

Some readers point out that people over 65 count for only 14 percent of reported COVID cases but they comprise 81 percent of COVID deaths. In contrast, they point out, those between 18 and 29 count—i.e., the 20-year-old clerk behind Plexiglass at a convenience store—account for nearly a quarter of reported COVID cases but only 0.5 percent deaths.

Additionally, one mother pointed out, some disorders, such as Down Syndrome, heart disease, diabetes and obesity also put a person at risk for severe COVID. And those have been put off until the third tier on Idaho’s vaccine distribution, perhaps four months from now.

There may be no right or wrong answer, but these points definitely give food for thought.


The last three days of 2020 were among the deadliest in American history. Thursday alone was the second deadliest day in U.S. history with its 3,808 deaths just ahead of the deadliest battle of the Civil War and just short of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane.

Of the 10 deadliest days in American history seven have come this month, knocking the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake out of the Top 10.

The state of Idaho recorded more than 500 deaths in December alone.


Dozens of filing cabinets have popped up in nooks and crannies of Bay City, Mich., as the community strives to feed people during the pandemic.

 Individuals and organizations are stashing food in the cabinets with a sign “Take what you need. Give what you can.”


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