The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported another 384 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 28,326. Health officials considered coronavirus a contributing factor in another 11 deaths since yesterday, leaving the death toll at 282.
Blaine County residents accounted for three confirmed cases and one probable, leaving today's local totals at 574 confirmed and 16 probable. St. Luke’s administered 35 new COVID-19 tests in Blaine County yesterday. Twenty patients are still awaiting their results.
Idaho also registered its first case of MIS-C, a COVID-related disease found in children, and environmental concerns weigh heavily. Here are the top stories from Tuesday, Aug. 18.
• A 7-year-old Treasure Valley girl is recovering following her diagnosis as Idaho’s first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. The disease is associated with COVID-19 and has only recently been defined by doctors. According to Dr. Kenny Bramwell, medical director of St. Luke’s Children’s System, the patient has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home.
Little is known about the new disease, but symptoms appear to be severe. If a parent believes their child may have MIS-C, they should contact their primary care provider immediately.
• A wildfire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest that began on Sunday had expanded to 366 acres by this morning. About 100 firefighters were combating the blaze and had achieved roughly 20 percent containment, though high winds and even higher temperatures threaten to hinder their progress.
The Muldoon Fire is burning near the Star Hope Campground in Custer County, about eight miles below the East Fork of the Big Lost River.
• A large bear and her cub were found pawing through garbage bins in Warm Springs last night, prompting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to once again remind Wood River Valley residents to stop leaving their trash out. This can condition the animals to become accustomed to human-provided food, leading to problems down the line. If residents do not secure attractants, Fish and Game may have to euthanize the animals.
• The Blaine County Commissioners have responded to the Bureau of Land Management’s proposal for 80 miles of new trails near Hailey and Bellevue. The commissioners primarily support the plan, but said they would like to see a few changes to the proposal. The BLM is accepting public comment until Friday.
For more top local and regional news, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.