After a record surge of more than 1,000 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Friday, Idaho's total continued to rise over the weekend, according to the state Department of Health and Welfare. Since Friday, Idaho gained 2,086 new cases, including 698 today, for a grand total of 53,790 since March. Of those, an estimated 27,021 are considered active. Coronavirus is considered a factor in 531 deaths—eight more since Friday.
About one in 33 Idahoans have or have had the virus, based on the number confirmed and probable cases recorded by the state.
Over the weekend, the state counted 10 more confirmed cases among Blaine County residents, leaving the total at 773 confirmed and 40 probable.
Read on for the top news from Monday, Oct. 19.
• Bellevue residents will have a couple extra elections in which to vote this November, with candidates running for mayor and city council. As before with candidates for state and county seats, the Mountain Express will host a virtual Candidates’ Forum this Wednesday, giving the voters the opportunity to hear from and pose questions to Bellevue’s political candidates.
• The Ketchum City Council is meeting tonight to discuss potentially passing an emergency ordinance for the protection of historic buildings in the city. The proposed ordinance would prohibit demolition of listed historic structures for 182 days, buying the council some time to deliberate further and hear from the public on how to preserve Ketchum’s historical and cultural identity.
• Speaking of historic structures, the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission is meeting tonight to discuss final approval of a plan to relocate a historic Forest Service Warehouse Building, which has stood on River Street since 1936. The building’s current home has been selected for development of a parking lot. Pending P&Z’s decision, the building may be relocated to Merlin Loop near the airport, where it would once again fulfill its original function of storing goods and materials.
• The local Hemingway chapter of Trout Unlimited relocated 2,460 rainbow and brown trout from a canal in Howard Preserve to the Big Wood River on Friday. Every year, the canal recedes when the head gate is closed, stranding fish. This year’s drought conditions have only made things worse. According to chapter member Ed Northen, the group has rescued about 12,900 fish since June.
For more local and regional news, check mtexpress.com at any time, or look out for Wednesday’s edition of the Idaho Mountain Express.