Back to School Covid

Blaine County School District elementary school students will return to the classroom for in-person learning four days a week beginning Monday. Up until now, they have been splitting their time between in-person and remote learning. Read below for more on that.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 404 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 164,969. Of those, an estimated 85,439 have recovered.

The state counted 11 more coronavirus-related deaths today, raising the death toll to 1,758.

The department confirmed 12 more cases in Blaine County today, raising local totals to 1,847 confirmed and 183 probable. The South Central Public Health District is monitoring 445 cases in Blaine County.

As of today, 32,079 Idahoans have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine. A further 102,288 state residents have received one dose and are awaiting their second.

Keep reading for updates on Blaine County’s COVID-19 risk, students heading back to the classroom, a coronavirus outbreak thinning the ranks of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol, and more top news from Friday, Feb. 5.

• Idaho as a whole is registering a downward trend in COVID-19 numbers, but the same is not true in Blaine County, where transmission risk remains “critical.” Meanwhile, efforts to increase vaccination rates across the state continue as more and more groups become eligible for inoculation.

Greg Foley reports.

• Elementary school students will return to in-person learning four days a week beginning Monday. All students and staff will be required to wear face coverings and follow other safety guidelines. Older students will remain in the hybrid learning model for the foreseeable future.

Gretel Kauffman has more here.

• Another big change awaits the Blaine County School District in the form of new superintendent Jim Foudy, who will take up his position in July. Kauffman caught up with Foudy to discuss his priorities and goals as he prepares for his new job.

Click here to read more.

• Thirteen members of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol—roughly 20% of the roster—were pulled off the ski mountains in mid-January due to COVID-19 infection and/or quarantine. Six returned positive tests, five were isolating due to possible exposure, and two were sidelined with reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to patrol Director Mike Davis. The resort declined to comment on specifics of the situation.

Make Dee has the details.

• Even with recent heavy snowfall, Friedman Memorial Airport continues to reap the benefits of its new instrument approach procedure, which allows for more low-visibility landings. Unofficial flight data from this January show two flight cancellations and 13 diversions, compared with eight cancellations and 47 diversions in January 2020.

Emily Jones has more here.

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

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