Tuesday, June 22, 2021
First Twelve-Year-Old Gets a Vaccine as Blaine County’s COVID Rate Plummets
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Twelve-year-old Tristan Boloix told his father that he wanted a vaccine as quickly as he could get it.
   
Friday, May 14, 2021
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTO BY JOY PRUDEK/St. Luke’s Wood River

GRAPH BY PAUL RIES

Twelve-year-old Tristan Boloix became the first Wood River Valley kid in the 12- to 15-year-old group to get a COVID-19 vaccine at St. Luke’s Mobile Vaccine Unit Thursday.

 
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Idaho reported 149 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday. There were no deaths, the toll remaining at 2,064. Blaine County reported no new cases remaining at 2,377, after a blip of nine new cases earlier in the week.
 

Boloix climbed aboard the retrofitted motorhome as it sat on Main Street in Bellevue at 9:30 a.m. Thursday and got a jab of the Pfizer vaccine before heading to school.

“Dad, I want it right away!” he had told his father.

Tristan and his father Frederic Boloix plan a trip to Europe this summer to visit family they haven’t seen in two years so they figure the vaccine will give them a measure of safety they haven’t had since the COVID pandemic began.

“I’m just happy to see an end to COVID,” Tristan told those administering vaccines.

The van will be at Kiwanis Park near the Balmoral Apartments in Hailey from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 15. It’s in Shoshone at 103 N. Greenwood St. today.

DROPPING MASKS FOR THE VAXXED

On the same day Tristan was getting his vaccine, President Biden announced that the Centers for Disease Control has decided that fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors, as well as out. It’s still recommended that vaccinated people wear masks in crowded indoor settings like buses and planes and hospitals, but the new guidance is expected to help reopen workplaces and schools.

The unvaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded public places because they remain at risk of catching COVID and spreading it. That includes children under 12 who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the change is being made because of millions of people--a third of Americans--have gotten vaccinated and the latest science demonstrates those shots are working well. Ninety-nine percent of Americans hospitalized with COVID since January 2021 were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

BUT IN HAILEY….

The Hailey City Council amended its health order earlier this week to eliminate group size restrictions and to require face coverings only in indoor public spaces. Face masks are still required in indoor public places when members of the public are present.

The CDC's advice does not override local mask mandates. And nationally, chains like Walmart, Target and Starbucks are keeping mask mandates.

Elsewhere, the McCall City Council has lifted its mask mandate, meaning that face masks will no longer be required for visitors within city limits. But city leaders are still encouraging individuals to follow health guidelines that promote face coverings.

BLAINE COUNTY COVID RISK DOWN

Blaine County remained in the moderate risk category for the second week in a row as the average number of new cases and positive rate plummeted.

The county averaged 3.7 new cases per hypothetical 100,000 residents from May 2-8, down from 6.2.

Its positive rate is 0.37 percent, down from 3.08 percent.

Just four people between the ages of 18 and 29 tested positive and one each among those 40 to 49 and 11-13. There were zero—yes, zero—cases in all the other age categories.

THE VACCINE LOTTERY

Incentives for getting a COVID-19 vaccine don’t get much bigger than Ohio’s. As if protecting yourself from potential death and serious illness wasn’t enough, the Buckeye State is enticing the state’s residents with the chance to win five $1 million lotteries.

Everyone who gets vaccinated will be entered in the lotteries for the million-dollar prizes. Those younger than 18 will have a chance to win one of five four-year scholarships to Ohio’s public colleges and universities, books and board included.

THE RUSH TO VACCINATE FOOTBALL PLAYERS

College football teams are encouraging vaccines among players as a way not to be shorthanded or have to forfeit games as so many did last season. Those who choose not to vaccinate will find themselves subject to regular contact tracing and quarantine.

Different approaches to vaccinations could prove interesting come next fall, says Sports Illustrated. What happens, for instance, should a SEC quarterback who has not gotten a vaccine play at a college like the University of Oregon that mandates them?

DENVER OFFERS WORKPLACES VACCINE INCENTIVES

Masks are no longer required indoors in Denver for those who can show proof of vaccination. Offices where 80 percent of the workers are vaccinated or restaurants where 85 percent of the workers are vaccinated also do not need to wear masks.

OREGON TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS AS VACCINES INCREASE

Oregon has pinned the lifting of COVID-related restrictions on vaccines. Most restrictions will be lifted when 70 percent of the state’s residents 16 and older receive their first vaccine dose. Counties will be eligible to move into a lower risk category when 65 percent of their area’s eligible population is vaccinated.

Gov. Kate Brown said she was confident the Beaver State can get there in June as more than half of the eligible population has received at least one dose.

MORE UNIVERSITIES REQUIRE VACCINES

The University of Oregon has become one of the latest colleges to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students and staff before classes begin in fall.

University President Michael Schill said that vaccinations are critical for public health, helping the university to reach the highest level of protection possible, reducing infections and safeguarding the community. They also will allow students to return to the in-person and on-campus experience that, he said, is the cornerstone of academic success, student experience and research innovation.

Other nearby universities requiring vaccinations include Oregon State University, Portland State University, University of Portland, Lewis & Clark College, Willamette University, Western Oregon University, the University of Washington and Washington State University.

COVID TRANSMISSION EXCEEDINGLY LOW OUTDOORS

The transmission of COVID outdoors is actually below 1 percent, says a report in the New York Times quoting multiple epidemiologists. That’s a lot fewer than the “less than 10 percent” stated earlier by the Centers for Disease Control.

The New York Times says the higher number may be the result of data regarding transmission in a Singapore construction site. There’s reason to think many of those infections occurred indoors as the concrete shell for the buildings were completed before the pandemic began. But data analysts assumed the workers were working outdoors.

HUGGING BACK

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has green lighted hugging as the United Kingdom’s average daily rate for new coronavirus cases has dipped to 2,000 versus 70,000 in January. The U.K. recorded only two new deaths on Sunday after having recorded Europe’s highest COVID death toll with 127,500-plus.

Fifty-three percenter of the British population has received vaccine, compared with 45.6 percent of Americans. Thirty-four percent of Americans are fully vaccinated.

VACCINE VACATIONS BACK

Latin American travelers are flying to Miami Beach to get Johnson & Johnson vaccines at pop-up COVID vaccination booths on the beach. Vaccine rollouts in Ecuador, El Salvador, Venezuela and other counties has been slow, hampered by supply shortages. And, in the absence of a concerted vaccine effort, COVID rates are accelerating.

Vaccine tourism has prompted flights from Buenos Aires to Miami to double from $1,000 to $2,000, according to AFP.

VACCINATIONS HELP YELLOWSTONE BUS TOURS

As coronavirus cases in the United States hit a seven-month low, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have resumed large group tours. Riders must show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of the test. Masks are required. Without vaccinations or tests, charter buses would be limited to 50 percent capacity or 10 people.

 

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