4th Street Closed

A section of Fourth Street in Ketchum is now fully closed to traffic, offering a social distancing-friendly thoroughfare for pedestrians alongside Town Square.

The South Central Public Health District reported no new cases of COVID-19 for Blaine County today, leaving the confirmed case count at 504. Twin Falls, Jerome, Cassia and Minidoka counties all saw rises today, however, with Minidoka gaining 12 confirmed cases.

As Idaho prepares to move into the fourth and final stage of the governor's reopening plan tomorrow, locals share their accounts of the long-term health problems wrought by COVID-19. Plus, the Blaine County School District considers a financially stringent future. Here are the top stories from Friday, June 12.

• Several locals have spoken to our Emily Jones on the crippling long-term effects of COVID-19. Though recovered with the virus gone from their systems, many report residual lung scarring, cognitive changes, headaches, and other lingering side effects. Even four months after infection, some are finding difficulty with light exercising or animated conversation.

“Talking on the phone for more than 20 minutes, I can’t breathe,” said Ketchum real estate agent Janine Bear, who became infected while in Hong Kong. “If I exercise for more than seven minutes, I’m down for hours. I can’t walk two blocks.”

According to Dr. Joshua Kern, St. Luke’s vice president of medical affairs, residual symptoms from COVID-19 such as fatigue and brain fog can’t be explained by science at the moment.

• The economic fallout of COVID-19 could mean a nearly $5 million drop in revenue for the Blaine County School District. In light of that, the board of trustees opted not to take a vote on the currently proposed 2020-21 school year budget this week, giving school officials more time to consider the proposal and its implications.

• The Bellevue City Council recently discussed the possibility of a fully restructured Labor Day parade this year, but has decided to hold off on any detailed planning for the time being. The council would like to wait and evaluate the forecasted risk of COVID-19 transmission in September before making any decisions. Bellevue will likely be keeping a close eye on Hailey’s Independence Day celebrations to measure the threat.

• Attention outdoor recreationalists: Galena Lodge is opening this Saturday, three months after closing its doors. Open trails near Galena Lodge include Enid’s Galena View Loop, Grinder Portion, Harriman, Lodge Loop and Titus Lake. The Big Wood and Outhouse Loop trails remain off-limits due to seasonal wildlife closures.

• The Bloom Truck, a collaboration between the Hunger Coalition and The Community Library, is back in action this month, albeit with a slightly different schedule. Kids from Carey to Ketchum and everywhere in between can visit the food truck/book mobile a receive a snack, book and activity kit all for free.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the state had a total of 3,353 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 as of 5 p.m. today, an increase of 51 from yesterday. Since yesterday, one more person has died with the virus, bringing the total death toll to 87. So far in June, Idaho has accrued 447 cases of the virus.

For more top news, pick up a copy of today's Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.

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