The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 482 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide over the weekend, including 378 today. The weekend increase brings the total to 173,309, of which an estimated 96,445 have recovered.
The state’s death toll rose by 14 over the weekend, including 11 today. To date, health officials consider coronavirus a contributing factor in the deaths of 1,890 Idahoans.
Blaine County gained seven confirmed cases over the weekend, including three today. The probable case count decreased by one, likely because it was reclassified as confirmed. Local totals are now 1,983 confirmed and 210 probable. The South Central Public Health District was monitoring 107 cases in Blaine County as of Friday.
A total of 166,769 Idahoans are now considered fully inoculated. A further 117,886 have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine and are awaiting their second shot. In Blaine County, those numbers stand at 3,789 and 2,400, respectively.
Read on for news of St. Luke’s new vaccine registration system, Hailey’s ACI map, possible expansions to mountain lion hunting, and other news from Monday, March 8.
• St. Luke’s Health System launched a new COVID-19 vaccine registry today, just a few days after the state of Idaho opened its own pre-registration system. For the time being, the St. Luke’s sign-up system is only open to those who are eligible to receive a vaccine under state rules. Those who use the St. Luke’s system will be notified to make an appointment as soon as one becomes available.
• Next week the Idaho Fish and Game Commission will review a proposal to remove mountain lion harvest quotas statewide, which could greatly expand mountain lion hunting . In Blaine County’s Game Units 48 and 49, sex-specific mountain lion quotas put strict caps on how many lions can be killed during the take season, currently between August and March.
• The Hailey City Council is expected to finalize its area of city impact map tonight, closing the books on several years of negotiations with Blaine County and Bellevue. The map identifies land the may be annexed into the city in the next few decades.
• Friedman Memorial Airport may need to expand to accommodate a growing number of monthly passengers, an outside consultant told the Airport Authority board last week. Improvements to parking, baggage claim, gate capacity and restrooms were among many recommendations.
• Yesterday, for the first time in since early December, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center’s entire forecast area was rated at “low” risk of avalanches. As the forecast noted, “low” does not mean “non-existent,” and everyone venturing into the backcountry should exercise caution. Today, the Sawtooth and Western Smoky Mountains were rated “moderate,” and SAC warned of increased danger with this evening’s weather.
For more local and regional news, visit mtexpress.com at any time, and look for a free copy of Wednesday’s Idaho Mountain Express.