Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Click HERE to sign up to receive Eye On Sun Valley's Daily News Email
St. Luke’s Employees Work Overtime to Test Valley Residents
Thursday, January 6, 2022


“Yikes!” said the Bellevue resident as she saw that the number of new COVID cases in the Wood River Valley registered a high of 96 on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

“Now the question is: Who is not sick?!” she said.

There continues to be a surge of new COVID-19 cases in Blaine County, in part fueled by restaurant and hotel workers who came in contact with a lot of valley visitors over the holidays. Family gatherings and travel out of the area also are considered factors in the surge

"Many of these outbreaks were in businesses in the hospitality industry. These staff members serve both residents and visitors," said Brianna Bodily, public information officer for South Central Public Health District.

"These are individuals placed at greater risk of infection because they serve many people every day, and these customers often come from all over," she added. "We saw a similar spike in Blaine County around this time last year for similar reasons, but this year we have Omicron on the horizon threatening to make this spike worse. Fortunately, we haven't heard anything about these cases overwhelming health care. Hopefully it will stay that way. COVID-19 doesn't hit vaccinated people as hard, even Omicron, and so far that seems to be protecting Blaine County from a huge spike in severe illness closely following the case surge."

The highly transmissible Omicron variant is believed to be responsible for a lot of the cases, although the state’s testing of variant is so limited it’s difficult to tell just how big a role it plays, said health officials.

Fewer than 10 percent of COVID-19 cases in the region are tested to determine the strain of a virus, according to South Central Public Health District.

St. Luke’s Wood River is expanding testing hours, thanks to staff members taking on extra shifts, said Joy Prudek, the hospital’s public relations manager. That significantly improves capacity for symptomatic testing, she said, and the hospital is working with other partners, such as South Central Public Health District, to explore additional testing options.

“Our team has once again stepped up and gone above and beyond to take care of the community in a time of need,” said Prudek.  “Many have taken extra shifts to increase testing capacity and with so many in the community becoming ill, our clinics and the Emergency Department have seen increased volumes.

“In addition, with community spread being so high, we are also seeing staff out due to illness, quarantine or schools closing and lack of daycare.  Winter weather has caused additional school closings and can make driving difficult and/or dangerous, which has resulted in some not being able to come to work, as well.” 

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are experiencing mild symptoms, DO NOT go to the hospital or emergency department for a test. Instead:

COVID-19 Resources - St. Luke's ( [] 

DO GO to the hospital emergency department or call 911 if you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure, sudden dizziness, weakness or fainting.

There is no walk-in care at the Family Medicine Clinic in Hailey, but that clinic does offer same-day appointments for acute care needs. Walk-in care is provided from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays at the Physician Office Annex next to the hospital in Suite 109.

Virtual Urgent Care Services are also offered seven days a week for sinus symptoms, earaches, sore throats, eye irritations, urinary tract infections, rashes and more via myChart. To log on, go to

~  Today's Topics ~

Kurt Nelson Fought Fires, Floods and More to Protect Resources

Liberty Theatre Company Sells ‘Pay What You Feel’ Season Passes

Wood River Farmers Market Launches Saturday with ArborFest Booth






Advertising /Marketing /Public Relations
Inquiries Contact:
Leisa Hollister
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
(208) 450-9993
Got a story? Contact:
Karen Bossick
Editor in Chief
(208) 578-2111
Website problems? Contact:
Michael Hobbs
ABOUT US is the largest online daily news media service in The Wood River Valley, publishing 7 days a week. Our website publication features current news articles, feature stories, local sports articles and video content articles. The Eye On Sun Valley Show is a weekly primetime television show focusing on highlighted news stories of the week airing Monday-Sunday, COX Channel 13. See our interactive Kiosks around town throughout the Wood River Valley!      Press Releases only
P: 208.720.8212
P.O. Box 1453 Ketchum, ID  83340

© Copyright 2023 Eye on Sun Valley