Update, 1:41 p.m.

Just a little more than an hour after the news came through in a Hailey City Council meeting, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare issued a press release reporting three deaths related to COVID-19 statewide, including two in Blaine County: a man in his 80s and a man in his 60s. In both cases it is unclear if either man had underlying heath conditions, the department said.

"This is very sad news, and we sent our condolences to the families and friends of each of these individuals," Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator for the Division of Public Health in the department said in the release.

Original Story, posted 12:52 p.m.

Wood River Fire and Rescue Captain Ron Taylor shared news of Idaho’s first death due to COVID-19 during a Hailey City Council meeting on Thursday.

Taylor, who was not speaking on behalf of his department, did not disclose the person’s identity or when they passed away.

Contacted by the Idaho Mountain Express, Blaine County Coroner’s Office confirmed that a Blaine County resident passed away due to COVID-19 either Sunday or Monday.

As of 12:50 p.m. on Thursday, the South Central Public Health District could not confirm the death.

“This particular outbreak is incredibly dangerous. I would ask the public to take this very, very seriously,” Taylor said. “If you think we are overreacting, the question should be ‘Are we overreacting enough?’”

Taylor reminded the public that physical isolation doesn’t have to mean social isolation.

“We can still stay social—we can FaceTime and Skype—but physical distance is incredibly important right now,” he said.

This is a developing story. For more information, stay with mtexpress.com.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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