As Idaho settles into Stage 4 of reopening and restrictions on gatherings are lifted, Blaine County’s COVID-19 risk has been falling gradually. Though local risk is still rated “moderate” on the county’s assessment scale, key metrics like positive testing rate and average new cases have dropped considerably from last week.
Keep reading for more COVID-19 updates, plus a message from Fish and Game on bears, an extension to Blaine Manor’s timeline, and more news from Thursday, May 13.
• Idaho returned to Stage 4 of reopening on Tuesday, officially removing any suggested or required limits on indoor and outdoor gathering capacities. Dave Jeppesen, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, said things will likely only continue to improve as more residents become vaccinated.
• Blaine County’s positive COVID-19 testing rate has dropped from 3.08% to 0.37% this week—a “minimal” risk factor. Meanwhile, average daily cases per hypothetical 100,000 residents dropped from 6.2 to 3.7. That’s still considered “moderate,” but indicates a positive trend. The county’s over all risk level remains on the low end of “moderate.”
• As bears emerge from hibernation, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reiterated its annual warning that residents should stow garbage, dog food, bird feeders and other attractants out of reach.
• The Hailey City Council approved a one-year extension to Blaine Manor Senior and Family Community’s preliminary-plat timeline. Per city code, a final plat must be recorded within one year of a preliminary, but in light of the pandemic, the council opted to extend the deadline.
• The Bellevue City Council voiced general support for allowing food trucks to operate in town, though council members continue to debate applying several additional regulations and permitting procedures to mobile vendors.
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.
In light of declining COVID-19 infection rates both locally and statewide, the Express' daily news Roundup will now only include coronavirus statistics once a week on Mondays.