The South Central Public Health District reported four more cases of COVID-19 in Blaine County overnight, raising the local total to 517 confirmed and 11 probable. Twin Falls, Cassia, Minidoka and Gooding counties all saw their cases rise, too.
The governor announced plans to hold Idaho in Stage 4 of reopening today, plus another aftershock shook the region last night. Here are those and more top stories from Thursday, June 25.
• Gov. Brad Little held a press conference today to announce that Idaho will remain in Stage 4 of reopening. The fourth and final stage of the plan was initially set to end Saturday, lifting certain safety guidance for businesses and travelers. But Idaho didn’t meet the criteria for advancing, state officials said Thursday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state has continued to rise.
While the entire state will now remain in Stage 4 through at least July 10, Little said Thursday that he believes a regional approach to guidance and restrictions is best, noting that nine counties in Idaho have yet to report a confirmed case of the virus.
“Folks, we want businesses to open,” Little said. “We want our children back in school at the end of summer. So please do not let your guard down.”
• The Ketchum City Council will meet at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon to consider green-lighting construction on the new fire station at Saddle Road. The council will review a contract for the build, and consider a $10,600 traffic study contracted to LA-based firm AECOM.
AECOM did not collect new data for the five page study, instead using traffic information from May 2018 provided by the city, according to a memo that accompanied the document. The data highlighted Warm Springs Road, but not Saddle Road.
• The Wood River Valley was shaken Wednesday night at 11:21 p.m. by one of the strongest aftershocks of a March 31 earthquake that occurred northwest of Stanley.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Wednesday’s quake measured 4.6 in magnitude and occurred just west of state Highway 21 about 1.5 miles northeast of the road into the Boundary Creek launch site on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
• The Hailey City Council agreed on Monday to create three main “pop-up” dining areas downtown, giving residents more space to distance themselves for take-out dining this summer and fall during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare counted 220 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, increasing the total to 4,865.
For more top local and regional news, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.