Kid Wearing a Mask in Sun Valley

Sun Valley's mask requirement went into effect at the start of this past weekend. Visitors and residents of all ages donned face coverings in compliance with the order.

Today’s increase of 316 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases brought Idaho’s totals to 11,718. Of those, 3,360 have recovered and 103 have died.

Blaine County gained no new cases of the virus today, according to the state Department of Health and Welfare.

Even as local numbers hold steady, however, health care officials warn of an impending second wave and push for a statewide mask mandate. Here are the top stories from Tuesday, July 14.

• Health care officials from across the state came together to urge Idahoans to support statewide mask and social distancing mandates. This comes as the COVID-19 case count has surged across the state in recent weeks. Within the first 13 days of July, the state doubled the number of cases it had accrued in the first 110 since the pandemic swept into Idaho on March 13.

St. Luke’s Health System President and CEO Chris Roth said that if Idaho doesn’t make some drastic changes soon, officials can expect statewide hospitalization rates to double every two weeks moving forward.

Even with Blaine County’s numbers holding level for the time being, testing has increased lately. St. Luke’s Hailey clinic, where tests are currently being administered, saw 41 patients on Monday, the most in a single day since May.

• Two Blaine County commissioners attended yesterday’s Bellevue City Council meeting to urge south valley officials to follow in the footsteps of the county, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley in passing a legally enforceable mask order.

The council will hold a special meeting Wednesday morning to discuss upgrading its current unenforceable resolution into an emergency health order like those issued by neighboring governments.

• Clear Creek Disposal has removed a large recycling bin for plastic, paper and cans from the Wood River Community YMCA parking lot in Ketchum, citing persistent contamination.

People will still be able to recycle glass and corrugated cardboard at the Y, and deposit other materials at the Park and Ride Lot in Hailey and at the Ohio Gulch Transfer Station.

• On a lighter note, just a friendly reminder that the Hailey Farmers Market is starting back up again this Thursday. Beginning a little later than usual, the market had to relocate to accommodate new health concerns, and will now take place at Roberta McKercher Park.

For other top news stories, visit mtexpress.com at any time or pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express.

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