The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare counted a combined 1,224 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide yesterday and today. (The department did not update numbers yesterday because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.) Today’s numbers increase the total to 156,778, of which health officials continue to monitor an estimated 82,430 active cases.
Between yesterday and today, the state counted another 30 COVID-related deaths in Idaho, raising the state death toll to 1,637.
Blaine County gained 22 confirmed and five probable cases since Sunday, raising local totals to 1,594 confirmed and 158 probable. Based on the most recent available data, the South Central Public Health District is monitoring 265 active cases in Blaine County.
As of today, 10,762 Idahoans have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine. A further 47,787 have received one dose and are awaiting their second. Twelve Blaine County residents have gotten both doses. A further 1,004 locals are awaiting their second dose.
Keep reading for updates on Idaho’s 2021 legislative session, COVID vaccines among EMTs, potential changes to wolf hunting laws and more top news from Tuesday, Jan. 19.
• Idaho’s lawmakers are considering many newly proposed COVID-19-related bills during the 2021 legislative session. Some motions ready for review aim to end the current state of emergency, limit the governor’s powers moving forward, remove the state’s ability to initiate lockdowns in the future, and lift restrictions on public gatherings, among other measures.
• The Blaine County commissioners voted today to allow Blaine County Ambulance District personnel to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to one another, cutting down on the number of people in line for vaccination at local hospitals. The district is looking into the possibility of enabling employees to administer vaccines to members of the public later on.
• The commissioners held a hearing this afternoon to discuss potential changes to wolf hunting regulations with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Wolf trapping is currently not permitted in Blaine County, as many locals are concerned over dangers to pets, children and wildlife. Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, recently had her own run-in with a wolf trap near Mackay when her dog became ensnared in one for over an hour.
• The Idaho Transportation Department is moving forward with plans to hand ownership of Sun Valley Road off to the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley. ITD will host a public Zoom webinar to discuss the plan on Thursday, and is accepting public comment until Friday, Jan. 29.
For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.