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Senior Connection Closes Temporarily to Mitigate COVID Risk
Tuesday, December 28, 2021


The Senior Connection has been closed to the public temporarily out of an abundance of caution after some members and staff were exposed to people in the community with COVID.

Meals on Wheels will continue as usual, as will distanced curbside pickup. Those wishing meals-to-go must reserve their meal at 208-788-3468 by 9 a.m. or earlier on the day they wish a meal. Staff will bring out a meal when the recipient arrives.

Driving Meals on Wheels, of course, has been a Herculean task the past couple of weeks given the snow that has piled up in many side streets around the valley. Even Highway 75 just south of the hospital sported snow berms in the middle on Sunday morning until plows could push it away.

But drivers have managed to get through, never mind rain or snow.

“Lucky us!” said Ramona Duke. “We recently received our two new Meals on Wheels trucks with higher clearance and 4-wheel drive, and they are making our drivers feel safe and secure as they drive their routes!  And, just in case we are not able to deliver due to weather, we make sure our Meals on Wheels clients have a couple of frozen meals in their freezer to make sure no one is stuck without a meal.” 

To date, 27 Blaine County residents have died of COVID. Nineteen new cases were reported in the county on Dec. 20-21—the last two days South Central Public Health District issued a report.

The county had been averaging 2.36 new cases a day over a two-week period ending Dec. 16, putting it in a moderate risk level according to the SCPHD. Its test positivity rate was 4.36 percent at that time. The bulk of new cases were among those between the ages of 40 and 49 and 0 through 10.


As if COVID isn’t enough to deal with, influenza is making inroads into southern Idaho.

A Gooding County man older than 65 recently became Idaho’s first influenza-related death of the season.

Influenza can be very serious, said Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, Idaho influenza surveillance coordinator. Everyone over 6 months of age should get an annual flu vaccine to reduce serious respiratory illness, she added.

Influenza is a contagious virus that causes respiratory illness typically between October and May. It  impacts between 5 percent and 20 percent of the population every season.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, or fatigue. Although most people who get the flu recover after a few days, some people may develop serious complications and, like the Gooding County man, die.

On average, 34 Idaho residents die of influenza each season.





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