The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 286 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 168,639. An estimated 91,241 of those have recovered.
Meanwhile, the state coronavirus-related death toll rose by nine to 1,826.
Blaine County gained five confirmed cases today, raising local totals to 1,932 confirmed and 203 probable. The South Central Public Health District is monitoring 399 cases in Blaine County.
To date, 76,519 Idahoans have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine. A further 124,281 have received one dose and are awaiting their second.
Read on for updates on wolf mortality in Idaho, nominations for the state’s Teacher of the Year award, expanded service at Twin Falls’ Magic Valley Airport, and more top news from Thursday, Feb. 18.
• Idaho saw a 53% jump in human-caused wolf deaths between August 2019 and August 2020, according to the state Department of Fish and Game. Despite the jump from 382 wolf killings to 583, populations are holding steady.
• The Magic Valley Regional Airport in Twin Falls is establishing nonstop service to Denver International Airport beginning in May. The new service is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Small Community Air Service Development Program, which assists small-airport communities with air service improvements.
• The three state lawmakers of District 26 will provide updates on the 2021 legislative session at two virtual town hall events this month. The first, intended for Blaine County constituents, will take place Thursday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. A second will follow next week for residents of Lincoln, Gooding and Camas counties.
• Idaho is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Idaho Teacher of the Year award. Submissions will be accepted through April 5, and nominated teachers will have until May 17 to formally apply. Last year, Wood River Middle School’s Jorge Pulleiro was chosen from a pool of 170 teachers.
• The Idaho Mountain Express is now accepting nominees for its Woman of the Year award. Citizens can nominate local women who have made a significant difference to the valley through their actions and contributions to the community. Nominations close Feb. 22. Readers can then vote for one of the top nominees to receive the award and be featured in the Express’ Valley Woman special section in March.
For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.