Coronavirus

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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.

People are desperate to get out of the house during the winter, and Bogus Basin has offered the nearest escape valve for the Treasure Valley for decades. But this year, things have looked different due to COVID-19 regulations at the resort to keep skiers, snowboarders and staff safe.

As COVID-19 vaccine distribution ramps up statewide, shortages in ultra-cold freezers needed to store the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are hitting rural Idaho. Coordination between Idaho State University and Bengal alumnus Dave Jeppesen, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s director, is filli…

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House voted overwhelmingly Monday to increase COVID-19 relief checks to $2,000, meeting President Donald Trump’s demand for bigger payments and sending the bill to the GOP-controlled Senate, where the outcome is uncertain.

BOISE — The $900 billion COVID relief package passed by Congress this week is being praised by some local businesses — particularly event venues, which will see much needed aid — while others say the legislation does not provide enough support for those industries hit hardest by the coronavi…

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The Gem County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting its annual ‘Boat Idaho Safety Class’ on Saturday, March 13. The free course offered in conjunction with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) provides details on Idaho boating laws, general boating information, safety and boat operato…

The COVID Pandemic and the subsequent slowing of the economy have produced at least one silver lining for southern Idaho anglers: more trout to catch.

The Emmett High girls basketball team did not make the State tournament field this season but they rode team balance to advance to within a single game of that elusive goal. With an upset win over second-seeded Bishop Kelly in a third-round elimination game the Huskies made it as deep into t…

The Emmett boys basketball team has made runs at most of its competition this year, only to come up short. Friday night, however, the Huskies picked up the pace and ran away from Caldwell, 64-46, to pick up their first Southern Idaho conference win of the season.

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The Emmett High Drama department presented the stage version of the animated hit “Frozen” last week. Three live performances to restricted “sellout” capacity and one streaming version brought to life the classic tale of two sisters finding love and letting go of the past. The large ensemble …

The Gem County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting its annual ‘Boat Idaho Safety Class’ on Saturday, March 13. The free course offered in conjunction with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) provides details on Idaho boating laws, general boating information, safety and boat operato…

You created your wish list, ordered some or all of the seeds you will need, and they are beginning to arrive. Make the most of your investment with a bit of planning.

When 15-year old Dorothy Marie Wright moved to Emmett 85 years ago little did she know that this would be her permanent landing spot. As her 100th birthday approaches this weekend, she couldn’t be happier that it became just that.

Idaho’s Gem County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with BLM Boise District law enforcement, recently held a cleanup of over 40 abandoned tires illegally dumped on public lands within the Four Rivers Field Office. Utilizing the Sheriff’s Inmate Labor Detail (SILD) and in conjunction with the…

I’m writing to make you aware of a piece of legislation currently working its way through the state Legislature. The bill is being pushed by Idaho’s gas retailers and, if approved, would make it easier for these businesses to price gouge during declared emergencies.

March 13, 2020, was the date we held our kick-off event for the Idaho Women 100 yearlong celebration of women’s suffrage on our State Capitol steps. It was a large gathering with people hugging, greeting each other warmly and in tight groups for photos. It was also the date our governor, my …

It was a crazy year. We had eight children of our own and had taken in three foster children. We also had two little girls who lived down the road that came over for breakfast every morning. How that started was interesting, too. One freezing cold morning at the beginning of the school year,…

I always love hearing how married couples met. Recently, some neighbors shared their story.

Our state has again topped the list as the fastest growing state in America. People are moving here because we offer a brighter future and a way of life, they could not find in the cities they left. These folks are moving to Idaho because we offer more, not less.

The Emmett High Drama department presented the stage version of the animated hit “Frozen” last week. Three live performances to restricted “sellout” capacity and one streaming version brought to life the classic tale of two sisters finding love and letting go of the past. The large ensemble …

As of last week, all six counties in the District 3 jurisdiction of Southwest District Health are now classified in the yellow health alert level. Gem County was moved to that designation last week, joining the other five counties. SWDH reports that while COVID-19 continues to spread through…

While many of the schools in the Treasure Valley are just now returning to in-classroom learning environments, the Emmett School District on Friday celebrated its 100th in-classroom learning environment day since September.

I’m writing to make you aware of a piece of legislation currently working its way through the state Legislature. The bill is being pushed by Idaho’s gas retailers and, if approved, would make it easier for these businesses to price gouge during declared emergencies.

Emmett High came home from the District III 4A wrestling championships on Saturday with two individual district champions and the largest contingent of State qualifiers in a number of years.