There may not be any Trailing of the Sheep festival this year, but the wooly creatures are carrying out their usual transhumance through the mid-valley, unperturbed by the lack of pomp and circumstance.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 584 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 49,247. Coronavirus was considered a contributing factor in two more deaths since yesterday, leaving the state death toll at 512.

According to the state, Blaine County residents gained three confirmed and one probable case, leaving those totals at 733 and 42, respectively. Everything other county in the South Central Public Health District except Camas County also saw their numbers rise today.

Keep reading for more local COVID-19 news. Here are the top stories from Tuesday, Oct. 13.

• The Hailey City Council is meeting tonight to discuss tightening the city’s emergency health order for stricter face covering requirements and limitations to gatherings. If passed, children aged 2 and up will be required to wear masks and those who were previously exempt for medical reasons will be required to wear face shields.

• Blaine County officials, including the commissioners and representatives from the Health District and St. Luke’s, will hold a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday to provide updates on local COVID-19 response measures and answer questions from the public. Spanish translation will be provided. Members of the public may submit questions in advance via email.

• As coronavirus case numbers continue to climb in Blaine County and among its neighbors in the South Central Public Health District, the Blaine County commissioners have decided to court other county commissioners to intensify their COVID-19 responses. Twin Falls County is approaching 3,000 cases, while Minidoka, Cassia and Jerome counties all approach 1,000 each.

• Capping off what has clearly been a busy start to the week for the county commissioners, they agreed during their Tuesday meeting to move forward with drafting a request for proposals to explore alternatives to the costly and controversial undergrounding of an Idaho Power redundant transmission line along state Highway 75 between Hailey and Ketchum.

For more local and regional news, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit

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