First Day of Ski Season

Sun Valley Resort kicked of its 85th winter season on Bald Mountain Thursday. Click here to read about what's new on the mountain and check Wednesday's paper for a full report on how the opening went.

Since the last news roundup on Wednesday, Nov. 25, Idaho has gained 5,195 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health and Welfare. Today’s rise of 1,214 brings the grand total to 101,698. Of the total, health officials continue to monitor an estimated 59,840.

Officials have counted 34 coronavirus-related deaths since Wednesday, including nine today. Idaho’s death toll is 929.

In Blaine County, the state counted 29 new confirmed cases over the holiday weekend. That increases local totals to 1,201 confirmed and 84 probable. As of Friday, the South Central Public Health District continued to monitor 251 active cases in Blaine County, but the district has not updated its data since then.

In the month of November, Idaho saw a 56.25 percent increase in COVID-19 cases, gaining 36,610, roughly the same number of cases registered during the first six months of the pandemic in Idaho. This month, coronavirus contributed to the deaths of 299 Idahoans, raising the death toll by roughly 47.46 percent.

Keep reading for news of COVID-19 cases in local nursing homes, Bellevue’s new city marshal, Hailey’s discussion of distributing CARES money, and more top news from Monday, Nov. 30.

• The Blaine County COVID dashboard reported last week that two nursing homes in Blaine County—the Cove of Cascadia’s skilled nursing facility in Bellevue and Silver Creek Living in Hailey—saw coronavirus cases rise among residents, despite following state and CDC guidelines.

• The Bellevue City Council officially appointed Mynde Heil city marshal last week. Heil has held the position in an interim capacity since William Ross Scaggs was removed from office last month following his arrest for felony delivery of marijuana. Marshal Heil has been a member of the Bellevue Marshal’s Office since 2018 and has 17 years of law enforcement experience.

• The Hailey City Council is meeting tonight to consider distributing up to $200,000 to local businesses under the federal CARES Act Relief Fund. If the council approves the grant program, qualifying businesses and organizations could be eligible to receive up to $10,000 to cover COVID-19-related expenses.

• The Idaho Department of Labor reported a slight decrease to the state’s unemployment rate, marking a continuing trend toward economic recovery. October’s unemployment rate was 5.5 percent—significantly down from April’s historic high of 11.8 percent.

• Last week, the Hailey City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance identifying its area of city impact boundaries in a revised map that no longer conflicts with Bellevue’s ACI.

For more local and regional news, visit at any time, or look for a copy of Wednesday’s Idaho Mountain Express.

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