Idaho gained 2,035 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide over the weekend, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Today's rise of 757 brought the grand total since March to 65,845. Of those, an estimated 34,688 are still being monitored by health officials. According to state health officials, coronavirus has contributed to the deaths of 632 Idahoans, six more than Friday.
Since Friday, Blaine County has gained eight more confirmed and two probable cases of coronavirus, according to the state, leaving local totals at 873 confirmed and 46 probable. The South Central Public Health District has not updated how many of those cases are being monitored.
Keep reading for news of the coronavirus, the search for a missing hiker, a memorial for Ashley Midby and more top news from Monday, Nov. 2.
• In the month of October, Idaho gained 22,047 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, a roughly 52 percent increase to the total. The virus contributed to the deaths of 157 Idahoans in October, marking a 33 percent rise to the statewide death toll.
Blaine County’s numbers increased significantly as well, from 655 confirmed and 32 probable on Oct. 1 to 865 confirmed and 44 probable by the end of the month. The 222 combined confirmed and probable new cases represent a 32 percent increase. Blaine County gained fewer than 100 cases in September.
• The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office has called off the search for missing hiker Fern Baird, who went missing in the Prairie Creek area two weeks ago on Oct. 19. “This is not the outcome that we were hoping for, but...we have exhausted our resources,” Blaine County Sheriff Steve Harkins said in a statement. "We will continue to investigate any leads we gather."
Anyone with any information on Baird that may assist in the investigation should contact Lt. Mike Abaid at 208-578-3371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Family members, friends and members of the community gathered in Bellevue Friday night for a vigil in memory of Ashley Midby, who, along with Jared Murphy, died in an apparent murder-suicide on Oct. 22. An Idaho State Police investigation into their deaths is ongoing and information is still limited at this time.
Our photographer Roland Lane attended Midby’s memorial Friday night. Click here to view his photos. For full coverage, see the Wednesday edition of the Idaho Mountain Express.
• Sun Valley Community School high school students will attend classes online until Nov. 13. The decision comes after multiple cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among students and faculty members at the private school. As of this afternoon, the school’s COVID-19 informational dashboard reported that five students and three faculty members had tested positive for the virus.
• The Ketchum City Council is meeting today to consider a proposed ordinance to establish new winter-season parking regulations in the city. The proposed parking regulations are designed to allow for snow removal while also providing overnight parking options. The ordinance would also decrease fines associated with illegally parking overnight and aims to reduce DUI incidents.
• Roughly a dozen members of the local Hemingway chapter of Trout Unlimited pitched in on Thursday to work on a stair-stepping fish ladder along Elkhorn Creek. The ladder will help trout migrate and spawn in the spring.
For more local and regional news, visit mtexpress.com at any time, and look for a copy of Wednesday’s Idaho Mountain Express.