The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 425 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 178,544. Of those, an estimated 99,626 have recovered.
The state reported one coronavirus-related death today, leaving the death toll at 1,952.
Blaine County gained five cases today, raising local totals to 2,025 confirmed and 209 probable. The South Central Public Health District is monitoring 47 cases in Blaine County.
Idaho continues to administer vaccines above the national average rate. To date, 247,135 state residents are considered fully inoculated against COVID-19. A further 149,180 Idahoans have received one dose of a two dose vaccine and await their second. In Blaine County, approximately 46% of residents aged 16 and up have received at least one dose.
Keep reading for a major vaccination announcement from Gov. Brad Little, a look at how Ketchum businesses are faring amid COVID-19, Fish and Game’s final verdict on wolf trapping in Blaine County, and more news from Wednesday, March 24.
• Gov. Brad Little announced today that all Idahoans aged 16 and older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations beginning April 5, advancing the originally projected date by three weeks. After Little’s special address, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare confirmed that Idahoans living in congregate settings are now eligible.
• The full economic impact of COVID-19 will not be apparent for months or maybe years, but Express reporter Greg Foley caught up with businesses in Ketchum to analyze the local impacts—both positive and negative—of the past 12 months. Despite new challenges, some Ketchum businesses are performing very well.
• Though the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted to expand mountain lion hunting statewide, commissioners ultimately decided not to legalize wolf trapping in Blaine County. The commission was reviewing a controversial proposal to lift local restrictions, though hundreds of Wood River Valley organizations and citizens voiced public opposition.
• The Blaine County commissioners signaled support for Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson’s “Northwest in Transition” plan, which seeks to breach four dams on the lower Snake River in an effort to restore ecological health and salmon populations across the northwestern states.
• Dr. Deb Robertson was voted Woman of the Year by Mountain Express readers. A physician in St. Luke’s Wood River emergency department, she led the medical response against COVID-19 at a time when Blaine County’s infection rates were some of the worst in the world.
For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of today’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.