As of 5:17 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, the South Central Public Health District reported 499 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Blaine County—an increase of one from yesterday. The count of probable cases held steady at 11. Of the full tally, only nine cases are still being monitored by the Health District. With the curve remaining somewhat flat, St. Luke’s has had the opportunity to reassess its approach to testing, which will change significantly over the weekend. Plus, the Sun Valley Resort announced it will be welcoming guests back soon. Here's for more on that, as well as other top headlines from today.
• Tomorrow will be the last day of operations for St. Luke’s Wood River's coronavirus screening tent, which opened more than two months ago and was the first of its kind in Idaho. Instead, the hospital will be shifting gears to a more long-term response strategy in anticipation off future waves of outbreak.
Starting Tuesday, May 26, suspected COVID-19 patients will be directed to St. Luke’s Family Medicine Clinic in Hailey. Patients are instructed to use the self-triage tool on St. Luke’s myChart portal before booking an appointment for sample collection, should the triage tool indicate that as the necessary next step.
• Following authorization from the Hailey City Council and Blaine County commissioners last week, Friedman Memorial Airport has officially secured a CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) grant of $11.4 million.
SUN joins more than 30 other airports in Idaho that have or are expecting to receive financial aid through the CARES act, according to the FAA. The grants are intended to cover coronavirus-related losses suffered by the airports.
• The Sun Valley Resort has begun easing back into normal operations this week, welcoming guests back into salons, to the Sun Valley Club and Elkhorn Grille.
The Company has further announced its plans to reopen the Village Station and Konditorei on Friday, May 29. All resort lodging, plus the spa and pool, will open up on Saturday, May 30.
• Speaking of reopening, The Community Library plans do just that on Tuesday, May 26. For the first time in months, patrons will be able to enter the library, the Gold Mine stores and the Regional History Museum. Library management asks that visitors wear masks, wash their hands, limit time inside buildings to 45 minutes maximum, and keep their children close at hand.
The curbside hold service will remain active into June. Until the next stage of Gov. Little’s reopening plan rolls along, crowds must still be limited to 10 or fewer.
• The Sun Valley Museum of Art announced via social media today the cancellation of its two remaining summer concerts, the first headlining Gregory Alan Isakov and the second Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. The nonprofit had previously confirmed the cancellation of its third summer concert starring the Steve Miller Band.
“For the first time in over 40 years, Sun Valley Museum of Art will not be gathering our community for outdoor live concerts,” the statement reads. “While we're devastated over the whole situation, we're strategizing how we can continue connecting you to live performances, so stay tuned!”
Visit facebook.com/sunvalleymuseum to read the full announcement.
• Tonight is a graduation night of sorts for the Wood River High School Class of 2020. The video ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by seniors parading through Hailey and Bellevue.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 2,534 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 28 from yesterday. Seventy-seven people have died. For top stories on how the outbreak is unfolding in Blaine County, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express, or check mtexpress.com at any time.