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BOISE — The first case of the United Kingdom variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Idaho, in an Ada County woman, Central District Health and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported Wednesday.

Pet adoptions have increased across the country over the last year. A national database by Shelter Animals Count found that pet adoptions increased by about 15% in 2020 compared to 2019, the Washington Post reported.

BOISE — Before the pandemic, Daniel Ojeda was used to supplementing his income with unemployment benefits. A 29-year-old ballet dancer and choreographer, Ojeda works about half the year as a freelancer, when he’s not on contract with Ballet Idaho during the fall and winter.

Public health officials say extreme winter weather across the U.S. has prevented any coronavirus vaccine from being shipped to Idaho this week, potentially delaying some vaccination efforts.

Wyatt Lindley goes to class just one day a week at Kuna Middle School. The rest of the week, he has little to do. He started sixth grade this year in a new school and his family just recently moved to Idaho, so his social circle is small.

BOISE — Two new variants of the novel coronavirus, including one that may be more infectious than current variants in Idaho, have been discovered in wastewater samples from three Ada County cities, Central District Health announced Wednesday.

BOISE — COVID-19 vaccine access is expanding across Idaho this week with the rollout of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The collaboration between federal and state governments and roughly 40,000 pharmacies will facilitate the distribution of 1 million doses.

It’s been nearly three weeks since Idaho health officials flagged five coronavirus samples as having possibly dangerous mutations, shipping them to national labs for more thorough screening because state labs can’t yet do that.

MERIDIAN — Crush the Curve Idaho on Thursday launched a COVID-19 vaccine awareness campaign focused on providing a central location for vaccine information, education and resources for Idahoans.

BOISE — Treasure Valley COVID-19 vaccine facilitators have been short on supply in recent days, leading to appointment cancellations by one major health care provider and scheduling delays by another.

Here's a look at the latest data from the state's coronavirus dashboard, which is updated daily at 5 p.m. Sunday’s numbers are typically lower, as not all agencies report on Sundays. Data is preliminary and subject to change. Case numbers included lab-confirmed and probable cases. 

BOISE — The chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee said suicide rates in Idaho did not increase substantially in 2020, despite claims to the contrary from many critics of COVID-19 protocols.

After appointing former U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador to the Central District Health board last week, the Ada County Commission will reconsider its choice, and will include infectious disease expert Dr. Sky Blue in the running for the health board’s open seat.

BOISE — Former U.S. Congressman Raúl Labrador on Tuesday was named Ada County’s new representative on the Central District Health, replacing former County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo, who lost a reelection bid in November.

Public health district boards, tasked by the governor with the bulk of Idaho’s COVID-19 response, are bracing for a potential attempt by state legislators to redraw the board’s roles by clawing back their legal powers and slashing funding.

BOISE — Central District Health will hold monthly meetings in 2021, a departure from its weekly meeting schedule that became a lightning rod for protests toward the end of 2020.