Masks at Atkinson

The city of Ketchum began discussions this week on the possibility of rolling back certain COVID-related regulations, such as mask-wearing. No official determinations have yet been made. Click here for details.

Another Blaine County resident has died of COVID-19, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The Mountain Express has no further information on the deceased at this time. The 18th local death was one of nine statewide today, leaving Idaho's coronavirus-related death toll at 1,989.

The Department of Health and Welfare reported 310 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 182,841. Of those, an estimated 102,457 have recovered.

Blaine County gained seven confirmed and one probable case today, leaving local totals at 2,076 confirmed and 225 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 52 cases in Blaine County.

A total of 335,527 Idahoans are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A further 173,525 state residents have received the first dose of a two dose vaccine and await their second.

Keep reading for updates on Gov. Little’s banning of vaccine passports, new student enrollment in the BCRD, Ketchum’s 5G debate and more news from Thursday, April 8.

• Gov. Brad Little signed an executive order yesterday banning any state government entity from requiring vaccine passports for citizens to receive public services or enter public facilities. Little raised concerns that vaccine passports would “violate Idahoans’ medical privacy rights, prejudice those unable to receive the vaccine, slow our economic recovery [and] cause division among our populace.”

Greg Foley reports.

• Parents of incoming preschoolers, kindergarteners or new students in the Blaine County School District can enroll their children for the 2021-22 school year starting tomorrow. Parents can sign up in person or online.

Gretel Kauffman has more information.

• The Blaine County commissioners have drafted a letter officially declaring their support for Rep. Mike Simpson’s Northwest in Transition Plan, which proposes the removal of four dams on the lower Snake River in an effort to restore ecological health across the Northwest.

Read more here.

• The Ketchum City Council reviewed the city’s policies for permitting wireless communication facilities, anticipating that cell phone companies could soon seek to deploy 5G—next generation cell phone technology—in the area. The council took no official action yet, but agreed to monitor the situation.

Click here for details.

• Blaine County updated its COVID-19 risk assessment summary today, reflecting a “high” risk. The South Central Public Health District also updated its assessment today, designating Blaine County at a “moderate” risk and its other seven counties at “low.”

Click the links to view the summaries.

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

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