Friday, April 16, 2021
Blaine Remains Critical, Infection Protection, Doses Dispensed
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Sun Valley Resort has installed a yurt near the Lookout Restaurant on Baldy to allow its patrollers more distancing during COVID. Patrollers are assigned to pods so that if one needs to quarantine it won't shut down the entire patrol.
   
Friday, December 18, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

COVID GRAPH BY PAUL RIES

Buoyed by a few days of new cases in the single digits, Blaine County showed some improvement on its COVID Risk Assessment between Dec. 6 and 12. But it remain at the Critical Risk level.

It had 57.1 new cases per 100,000 residents this past week based on a seven-day average. That’s down from a high of 68.3 the previous week.

 
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Idaho reported 1,426 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday for a total of 126,878. But health officials suspect there are many more cases going unreported. Twenty-eight more Idahoans have lost their lives to COVID for a total of 1,259 deaths. So far, 321 health workers have received the first of two Pfizer vaccines.
 

And its positivity rate is 9.3 percent, down from 13.75 percent. The goal is 5 percent or less.

The impact of COVID on St. Luke’s Wood River continues to be moderate, even though the hospital has had as many as five COVID patients at one time. But hospitals in Boise and Twin Falls, to which local doctors send critically ill patients, continue to be stretched to their limit.

Twenty-one persons between the ages of 18-29 tested positive during the week; 16 between 30 and 39; 14 between 40 and 49, and 12 each between 50 and 59 and 70 and older as the county continues to investigate outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

There were nine cases reported among those between 14 and 17 years of age, four between 60 and 69, four between 5 and 13 and 1 between 0 and 4.

 
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Blaine County reported 12 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday for a total of 1,511 cases since the pandemic started.
 

NEARLY NORMAL

Yearn for life like normal? Head to Nova Scotia.

The New York Times reports it’s a magical, virus-free world compared to the United States.

The coronavirus lockdown began swiftly in March with provincial borders slammed shut, even public hiking trails closed. Restrictions eased in May, were lifted in June and today Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Labrador and Prince Edward Island allow travel among themselves.

Yes, they wear masks, stand six feet apart in the line at the grocery store and order their coffee through plexiglass at Starbucks. But the kids in Halifax are enjoying slumber parties, and athletes take part in speedskating races.

INFECTION PROTECTION

An Oxford University study of 12,180 healthcare workers from April through November determined that those who had been infected with the coronavirus did not get reinfected again within six months.

Other studies have shown that those who have had a common cold during the past two years have T cells that show some protection against COVID.

DOSES DISPENSED

Health districts around the Gem State got down to the business this week of vaccinating the state’s health care workers.

Of Idaho’s first 13,650 doses, Central Distritc Health in Boise expected to receive 4,875. South Central Public Health District in Twin Falls got 975, as did Southeastern Idaho Public Health in Pocatello. Southwest District Health in Nampa-Caldwell got 2,000 doses this week.

South Central Public Health District, which serves eight counties including Blaine County, does not have the ultra-cold freezers to preserve the vaccines. So, the district will deliver doses to its participating health care providers on dry ice. The Pfizer vaccines can be refrigerated after they leave ultra-cold freezers for up to five days.

Unfortunately, Idaho has learned that it and other states will not receive as many doses next week as it had anticipated because Pfizer says the federal government has not given it instructions necessary for shipping the doses waiting on its shelves. Idaho's allotment has been reduced from 17,550 to 9,750 doses.

MODERNA APPROVED

The Moderna vaccine, which is expected to get the green light from the FDA today, does not need ultra-cold freezers. It can be stored in normal refrigerators.

Analysis of the Moderna vaccine revealed that asymptomatic infection was reduced by 63 percent after just one shot. That means not only will the vaccine protect the person who receives it but it will help reduce transmission.

TRAVEL ALERT

If you’re considering traveling to Australia as the pandemic winds down, be forewarned: The Australian airline Qantas is testing the idea of requiring a vaccine passport to travel.

ELSEWHERE

Canada expects to get 414 million doses of vaccine--four times as many doses as it needs for its population of 38 million--by the end of 2021.

So far, more than 150,000 Brits have been vaccinated. But that’s not fast enough. Doctors across Northern Ireland have been forced to treat patients in ambulances lined up in parking lots because their hospitals are full.

 

 

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