Blaine County didn't gain a single case of COVID-19 to start the month of June, leaving it's risk level at "minimal" on Thursday, according to the county's weekly assessment. 

Both the average number of new cases and the positive case rate dropped to the county's lowest risk level during the two weeks running from May 30 to June 12, the report stated. To reach the "minimal" threshold, the county must average less than one new case per hypothetical 100,000 people across a seven-day period, have a positive testing rate below 1% and demonstrate normal hospital capacity. This week, it checked all of those boxes. 

The South Central Public Health District, which uses a less stringent metric, has listed Blaine's risk in its lowest category for several weeks. On Thursday, all of the counties in South Central's purview boasted minimal risk once again. 

The Health District was still monitoring two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Blaine County Thursday.

The next step for South Central: spurring vaccination rates. As of Wednesday evening, 40% of eligible residents in the South Central Public Health District had been fully vaccinated. Another 4% had received a first dose. Anyone 12 years old an older can get a COVID-19 inoculation in Idaho.

With a 75% vaccination rate, Blaine County is well ahead of its neighbors--and the rest of the state--in uptake. Valley County clocks second with roughly 53 percent of its eligible population fully vaccinated as of Wednesday night. In many northern counties, the rate is closer to one in three. 

While Blaine's risk remains low, the county urged continued vigilance on Thursday. 

"Approximately 25% of eligible residents are unvaccinated," the dashboard stated. "Mask wearing and vaccination remains important."

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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