Wednesday, May 12, 2021
COVID Risk to Blaine Residents Remains High, COVID STATS Study Touted
Dr. Tom Archie has been involved in a variety of community efforts ranging from COVID testing to the COVID STATS research project to serving as president of The Advocates board.
Friday, April 9, 2021


Health officials are a little alarmed by a bump in COVID infections in Blaine County, Dr. Terry O’Connor said at a Blaine County Virtual Town Hall Wednesday night.

“Does it have anything to do with the fact that we’re seeing the UK variant become a dominant player? We don’t know,” the St. Luke’s emergency physician said.

Seventeen Blaine County residents have tested positive in the past two days. One more resident has died of COVID, bringing the county death toll to18.

Idaho passed a milestone Thursday, according to Paul Ries, with one in 10 Idahoans having officially had COVID. The state reported 310 new cases on Thursday for 182,841 cases all told. Fifteen Idahoans have died of COVID in the past two days for a total of 1,989. Blaine County reported 17 more cases over the past two days for a total of 2,301. Blaine County also has lost one more resident to COVID for a total of 18.

The risk level for transmission of the coronavirus in Blaine County remained high this week, according to Harvard Global Health metrics.

The county averaged 17.4 new cases per 100,000 residents during the week of March 28-April 3. That’s up from 16.8 new cases per 100,000 residents the week before.

Its test positivity rate is 4.42 percent, down from 8.58 percent the week before.

Last week health officials announced that 16 cases of U.K and California variants had been detected among residents.

Seven people ages 40 to 49 tested positive during the week and five each between the ages of 30 and 39 and 14 and 17.

There were four positives among those between 18 and 29, three positives among those between 60 and 69 and one between 0 and 4. There were no new cases among those 70 and older and between the ages of 5 and 13.

St. Luke’s Wood River has vaccine availability for those 18 and older Sunday, April 11, and Tuesday, April 13. You can hit the ski slopes for one final day of skiing on Sunday, then get a jab in the arm!

O’Connor and Dr. Tom Archie said they are still enlisting people in their Blaine County COVID STATS project., which will help researchers worldwide answer questions regarding the coronavirus. Participants should not have had the COVID and they should not yet have been vaccinated, although they’re permitted to get vaccinated while in the six-month study.

Participants will be paid.

“It’s a little bit of a challenge enrolling people with so many getting vaccinated. But that’s a good challenge to have,” said O’Connor.

O’Connor said the jury is still out about whether fully vaccinated people can infect others. The probability is quite low, but it’s not zero.

O’Connor said he has seen locals get reinfected after having COVID, sometimes with symptoms.

“Others are asymptomatic, but they definitely gave it to someone else in close contact with them,” he said. “It’s a rare occurrence but not so rare that we haven’t seen it in the middle of Blaine County.

To learn more about the study, visit



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