Terry O'Connor and Deb Robertson Vaccine

St. Luke's Wood River physicians Dr. Terry O'Connor, left, and Dr. Deb Robertson, right, hold up their CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards after receiving their first doses of the Moderna vaccine. They are among the first people in the valley to receive vaccine doses. Read below for more on that.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported another 1,391 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 133,985. Of those, health officials continue to monitor an estimated 79,862 active cases.

The department considers coronavirus a contributing factor in the deaths of 1,324 Idahoans, 11 more than yesterday.

According to the state, Blaine County gained six confirmed and lost one probable case of COVID-19 today, indicating that one probable case was reclassified. Local totals are now 1,422 confirmed and 116 probable. Based on the most recent available data, the South Central Public Health District is monitoring 200 active cases in Blaine County.

A total of 6,538 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered statewide as of today, according to the Department of Health and Welfare.

Keep reading for more on vaccines in the Wood River Valley, the school district’s plan for getting back to work after the holidays, COVID-19 safety measures at the Ketchum post office, and more top news from Wednesday, Dec. 23.

• St. Luke's Wood River emergency physicians Dr. Deb Robertson and Dr. Terry O'Connor--seen at the top of the page--were among the first in Blaine County to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today. St. Luke's administered doses of the Moderna vaccine to several front-line staff members at highest risk of exposure to the virus. 

Read more here, and check the Friday issue of the Mountain Express for a full report.

• Gov. Brad Little said in a public AARP Idaho call that the state will likely remain in a modified version of Stage 2 of reopening for the foreseeable future. In the same call, he once again defended his decision not to implement a statewide mask mandate.

• The Blaine County School District adjourned for its winter break this week, giving students and staff time off between Dec. 21 and Jan. 4. For some families, winter break may mean out-of-town travel—and, with the risks of travel in mind, the district is preparing for a potential bump in COVID-19 cases or quarantines when school resumes.

• Ketchum City Councilwoman Amanda Breen raised concerns that the Ketchum Post Office is not following appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures, citing crowding without social distancing in the front lobby and inconsistent mask wearing among staff.

• The Ketchum Fire Department bid farewell to longtime Assistant Fire Chief Tom Ancona last week. Before retiring, he spoke to our reporter Greg Foley on his 36 years of service and his hopes for the future.

• Sun Valley Community School boys’ soccer head coach Richard Whitelaw has been recognized as a 2020 National Coach of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches.

For more local and regional news, pick up a copy of today’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.

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