The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported another 1,034 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total since March to 151,273. Of those, health officials continue to monitor an estimated 82,084 active cases.
The department considers the coronavirus a contributing factor in the deaths of 1,556 Idahoans—12 more than yesterday.
Blaine County gained seven confirmed and four probable cases of COVID-19 today, according to the state, raising local totals to 1,502 confirmed and 136 probable. Based on the most recent available data, the South Central Public Health District is monitoring 198 active cases in Blaine County.
A total of 38,891 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Idaho so far. 5,692 people have received both doses.
Keep reading for updates on expanded vaccination efforts in Idaho, lower-than-average snowpack in January, Bellevue’s clean energy commitment and more top news from Tuesday, Jan. 12.
• Gov. Brad Little announced today several changes to Idaho’s plans for distributing COVID-19 vaccines. Little’s announcement came shortly after the Trump administration made federal changes to vaccine rollout. Effectively, Idaho has moved up the second priority group to begin inoculating them as soon as possible. This includes non-medical essential workers—such as teachers, police officers, firefighters, grocery workers and others—as well as people 65 and older. In theory, this phase will begin tomorrow, though the short notice of the decision will likely create some delays.
• The Natural Resources Conservation Service reported a “well below normal” snowpack in the Wood River basin this January, though a handful of snowstorms dramatically improved upon December’s conditions.
• The Bellevue City Council has taken steps towards establishing clean energy goals for the city, following in the footsteps of the governments of Hailey, Ketchum and Blaine County. Some of these goals could include achieving 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and 100 percent clean energy, including in vehicles, by 2045.
• The Ketchum City Council voted unanimously to appoint Councilwoman Courtney Hamilton as council president for 2021. She succeeds Councilwoman Amanda Breen in the role. The City Council president takes the role of acting mayor when the mayor is absent or cannot serve.
For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.