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The South Central Public Health District in Bellevue is one of several locations distributing COVID-19 vaccines in Blaine County. Even as more people become inoculated, health officials warn against easing mitigation measures. Read below for more.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 460 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 180,536. Of those, an estimated 100,936 have recovered.

The department reported five new coronavirus-related deaths today. The death toll is now 1,962.

Blaine County gained eight new confirmed and two probable cases today, leaving local totals at 2,053 confirmed and 213 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 49 cases in Blaine County.

A total of 284,113 Idahoans are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A further 163,080 state residents have received the first dose of a two dose vaccine and await their second.

Keep reading for updates on COVID-19 vaccine rollout, BCSD’s plans for middle and high school students, a year of aftershocks from last March’s 6.5 earthquake, and more news from Wednesday, March 31.

• All Idahoans aged 16 and up will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines starting Monday, April 5. As the state prepares to open up vaccinations, distribution of doses continues at pace. Locally and across the nation however, case rates are once again on the rise, despite widespread vaccine rollout.

Greg Foley has more on that here.

• The Blaine County School District board of trustees voted 3-2 last night to keep middle and high school students in the current four-days-a-week in-person learning model. Unlike older students, elementary students will return to the classroom for five days per week starting April 12.

Gretel Kauffman reports.

• Today marks the one year anniversary of the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck near Stanley, rocking much of the Northwest. It was Idaho’s second-strongest earthquake ever on record, and its aftershocks will continue well into the future. In fact, geologists have logged more than 450 aftershocks so far in 2021.

Emily Jones has the details.

• The Hailey City Council reopened discussions with Clear Creek Disposal over the possible benefits of introducing curbside compost and cardboard pick-up options as part of the city’s franchise agreement. Initial discussions were inconclusive, but regardless, Hailey customers will see their monthly costs rise about 15% soon to adjust for inflation.

Click here for details.

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

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