COVID-19 Testing St. Luke's Ketchum

Blaine County's COVID-19 case surge continued this week, as incidence rates keep climbing heading into February.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 620 new cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total since March to 161,212. Of those, an estimated 79,298 have recovered.

The state counted another 26 coronavirus-related deaths today, raising the death toll to 1,714.

Blaine County gained 31 confirmed cases today, according to the state—the largest single-day increase in local cases since Nov. 18. Today’s surge brings local totals to 1,734 confirmed and 174 probable. Based on the most recent available data, the South Central Public Health District is monitoring 386 cases in Blaine County.

So far, 16,843 Idahoans have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 106 in Blaine County. A further 68,888—including 1,654 locals—have received one shot and are awaiting their second.

Read on for updates on Blaine County’s coronavirus rates, COVID-19 bills advancing through the Idaho Legislature, a downed power pole closing Warm Springs Road, and more top news from Wednesday, Jan. 27.

• Blaine County’s COVID-19 case rates have soared throughout January, more than doubling during the week of Jan. 10-16. The rate of new cases per hypothetical 100,000 residents hit 83.2 this past Saturday, according to the Department of Health and Welfare. By comparison, it was 7.4 just a month ago.

Greg Foley reports.

• Meanwhile, Gov. Brad Little denounced the Legislature’s efforts to end the current state of emergency and lift numerous COVID-19 restrictions, accusing lawmakers of playing “political games” and spreading misinformation. His comments came as various bills and resolutions continued to make their way through the Senate and House of Representatives, and a new bill limiting the powers of public health districts was introduced.

Gretel Kauffman has the details.

• The Blaine County School District Board of Trustees is meeting tonight at 6 p.m. to vote on whether or not to increase in-person learning. The majority of principals in the district favor waiting until staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Click here for more.

• Warm Springs Road in Ketchum is closed after a snow plow struck a power pole near the Wood River Community YMCA this afternoon. No power outages have been reported in the area. A worker on the scene told the Express the lines were considered live still.

The incident occurred as tody’s blizzard continues. By 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, the storm had already dumped 15 inches of snow on Bald Mountain.

Mark Dee reports.

• The Hailey City Council moved a step closer to building a campground out Croy Canyon, voting 3-2 to submit a grant application to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to help fund the 33-site proposal.

Emily Jones has more information here.

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

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