Northridge Scenic

Express photographer Roland Lane's view over Hailey last weekend showed several telltale signs of early spring. On that topic, Sunday is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. Don't forget to change your clocks.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 364 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 174,610. Of those, an estimated 97,063 have recovered.

The state's coronavirus-related death toll rose by five today to 1,906.

The health department confirmed two new cases in Blaine County, leaving local totals at 1,991 confirmed and 210 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 57 cases in Blaine County.

As of today, 181,267 Idahoans are fully inoculated against the virus. A further 122,944 state residents have received their first dose of a two-dose vaccine and await their second.

Keep reading for updates on COVID-19 transmission risk, the BCSD mulling a return to five-day school weeks, the county commissioners taking a stance on wolf management, and more news from Thursday, March 11.

• The Blaine County School District Board of Trustees discussed—but made no final decisions on—the possibility of restoring elementary students to a full five-day in-person learning week. If the board ultimately decides to do so, Superintendent Fritz Peters recommended making the switch in the second full week of April.

• Blaine County updated its own COVID-19 transmission risk assessment today, once again indicating a “high” local risk. The South Central Public Health District’s Regional Risk Summary also updated today. The Health District’s model assesses data over a two week period instead of a one week period, and listed Blaine County at “moderate” risk. The assessment listed every other county in the district—Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls—at “low” risk.

Click the links above to view the summaries.

• The Blaine County commissioners approved a resolution supporting nonlethal wolf management in the region and urging the Idaho Fish and Game Commission not to expand wolf hunting or allow wolf trapping in the county. Later this month, the Fish and Game Commission will review proposals related to wolf hunting and trapping.

• The Idaho Department of Labor is warning residents to be wary of an identity theft stemming from fake unemployment insurance claims. Numerous residents have had their personal information compromised, hacked or breached by criminals in a large-scale nationwide scam involving fake unemployment benefits claims, the agency stated.

• The Hailey City Council is reviewing its 10-year franchise agreement with Clear Creek Disposal before its renewal in May. Though the city will probably keep its current multi-stream recycling process, councilors are eyeing up several other service enhancements.

For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.

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