Hailey Back to School

Hailey Elementary School second grade teacher Jodi Barsch welcomed her entire class back to in-person learning at once for the first time this school year on Monday. Elementary students district-wide have now completed their first week of fully in-person learning since the pandemic began.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 349 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 167,225. Of those, an estimated 89,126 have recovered.

The state COVID-19 death toll rose by five today to 1,796.

Blaine County gained six confirmed and three probable cases today, raising local totals to 1,907 confirmed and 195 probable. The South Central Public Health District is monitoring 408 active cases in Blaine County

To date, 50,569 Idahoans, including 607 in Blaine County, have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine. A further 121,035 people, including 3,129 locals, have received one dose and are awaiting their second.

Keep reading for news of Blaine County’s holiday weekend COVID-19 risk, the state Legislature’s move to void limits on gatherings, how local nonprofits have adapted to pandemic life, and more top news from Friday, Feb. 12.

• As Blaine County’s COVID-19 case count continues to rise and the transmission risk is once again deemed “critical,” health officials warned of a worsening situation heading into the holiday weekend, a traditionally busy period for tourism in the valley.

Greg Foley reports.

• St. Luke’s Walk-in/Same Day clinic will be open for extended hours this weekend at the Physician Office Annex at 100 Hospital Dr., Ketchum. On both Saturday and Sunday of the upcoming Presidents' Day holiday weekend, the clinic will operate 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Same Day access will be available at the Hailey clinic on Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Patients can call 208-788-3434 to schedule appointments.

• The Idaho House of Representatives passed a bill that would eliminate the state’s 50-person limit on gatherings as a House committee advanced the latest version of a bill that would limit the governor’s powers during a state of emergency.

Gretel Kauffman has the details.

• Nearly everyone felt the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, including dozens of local nonprofits. Our reporter Tony Evans took a close look at some of these organizations and how they’ve adapted—temporarily and in perpetuity—to these outstanding circumstances.

Read the full story here.

• The Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-1 to deny a set of applications to construct a four-story, 48-foot-tall residential and commercial structure on Ketchum’s Main Street amid objections the building would not fit Ketchum’s “small-town character.”

Click here for details.

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

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