The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 491 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 163,656. Of those, an estimated 83,336 have recovered.
Health officials consider coronavirus a contributing factor in the deaths of 1,741 Idahoans—six more than yesterday.
The state confirmed 20 new cases in Blaine County today, raising local totals to 1,807 confirmed and 181 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 446 cases in Blaine County.
To date, 24,248 state residents have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and a further 83,413 have received one dose and are awaiting their second.
Keep reading for updates on Idaho moving back into Stage 3 of reopening, Ketchum voiding building permits for the Harriman Hotel, the fate of the Suns’ hockey season, and more news from Tuesday, Feb. 2.
• Idaho will advance back into Stage 3 of Gov. Brad Little’s COVID-19 reopening plan. The move increases maximum gathering sizes statewide from 10 to 50. Little’s announcement comes amid an overall downward trend of positive coronavirus cases across Idaho, and as the state Legislature advances measures to lift all restrictions on public gatherings.
• The city of Ketchum has notified Jack Bariteau, developer of the stalled Harriman Hotel project at the southern entrance of the city, that the window to resolve a breach of his development agreement has passed. The agreement and all associated permits have now been voided. In November, Bariteau served notice of tort claim to the city--a necessary step before filing suit against a public entity--alleging defamation and tortious interferences, claiming up to $100 million in damages.
• Blaine County received a clean audit for fiscal year 2020, an auditor told the county commissioners Tuesday, saying, “You can’t get any better than that.” The commissioners voted to approve the findings.
• The Sun Valley Suns men’s hockey season has officially been called off as local COVID-19 concerns show no signs of abating. General manager and head coach John Burke has been trimming games off the schedule since the season was supposed to begin in November, but has now pulled the plug on all remaining matchups.
• Hailey-based Power Engineers has donated $150,710 in educational supplies to 43 Title I schools across the country, four of which are in Idaho, two in the Wood River Valley.
For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of Wednesday’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.