Idaho’s COVID-19 surge continued this weekend, with the state Department of Health and Welfare reporting 3,326 confirmed and probable cases statewide since Friday. Today’s rise of 1,437 brought the grand total to 93,090, of which state health officials continue to monitor an estimated 53,827.
State health officials consider coronavirus a contributing factor in the deaths of 866 Idahoans, 21 more than on Friday.
In Blaine County, the state counted an additional 24 confirmed and one probable case of the virus, raising local totals to 1,127 confirmed and 79 probable. The South Central Public Health District has not updated its data since Friday to reflect how many of those cases are still being monitored. (At the time of the last update, officials continued to monitor 234 cases in Blaine County.)
Keep reading for more on local discussions of tighter health orders, Rep. Mike Simpson’s conservation efforts and other top news stories from Monday, Nov. 23.
• The Hailey City Council is meeting tonight to consider amending the city’s current emergency health order as COVID-19 cases surge. Currently, between the city’s mandate and the state’s Stage 2 restrictions, indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and face coverings are required. Depending on tonight’s discussions, the city may opt to make no changes, amend its order to more closely fall in line with the state’s, or take significant action to enforce stricter requirements.
The council is taking public comment during tonight’s 5:30 p.m. meeting.
• Meanwhile, Ketchum City Council members and Mayor Neil Bradshaw are holding a special meeting tonight to receive a COVID-19 update from Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin and, like Hailey, consider passing a new public health order based on McLaughlin’s report.
• And in Bellevue tonight, the mayor and City Council will also discuss how best to respond to current and future COVID-19 transmission risk levels, although that discussion is further down the agenda than a public hearing on the area of city impact and the possible appointing of Mynde Heil as new Bellevue Marshal.
Visit bellevueidaho.us to learn how to tune in to the meeting.
• Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson received the national Land Trust Alliance’s Public Leadership Conservation Award this week in recognition of his efforts to pass the Great American Outdoors Act. The act provides full, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provides funding for local recreational facilities and maintenance for national parks, refuges and public lands.
• The Bellevue Planning and Zoning Commission voted last week to approve a set of city staff recommendations that would add new definitions for fences and sidewalks and set forth new permitting and construction requirements.
For more local and regional news, visit mtexpress.com at any time, and keep an eye out for Wednesday’s Idaho Mountain Express.