HEALTHCARE UPDATE: Tons of tourism traffic recently and new residents and second home activity is up. Building permits and real estate, title and other deal flow is way up concurrently. Local emergency rooms are busy in Cascade and McCall with regular summer traffic (non-covid).
There are 89 covid admissions across SLHS statewide system. 21 in ICU’s, 18 on ventilators. While overall numbers are up, the number on ventilators this week is down.
In McCall (Lukes): 1256 tests to date, 61 positives. June 7% positivity. July is 6% positivity, but mostly due to more testing volume.
There are a lot of illnesses that can mimic covid and there have been some concerns about this around the region. Flu season is on the way. We need to get a wellness campaign out this fall to include flu vaccines in September to mitigate illness overall this winter and fall. This will reduce confusion about symptomatic people with differing illnesses.
There’s been some increased turn time on testing due to demand, but Rite Aid (McCall) is a 3-4 day turn time, up to a week. There are some concerns about 9-10 day turn time for some front line, first responder and fire service teams locally. Hospitals prioritize based on folks who have an urgent procedure, are really sick or clinic patients who are symptomatic. Cascade Medical Center is turning around results in a couple of days, generally.
USFS is seeing a lot of new recreationists coming to the area. We might look to cross promote best practices through the protect your mountain playground (PMP) website to avoid issues with fire, trash and search and rescue.
The McCall-Donnelly school district is having a special meeting Monday to discuss fall athletics and whether offering an online/remote option for families can be done; however critical mass for online learning in small districts can be challenging. The situation is fluid, a parent survey suggested that there may be critical mass for an online option. There’s also a discussion about delaying the start date of school, for the purpose of training staff and preparation for the potential online option, if it’s a go.
Some discussion about universal screening and it’s effectiveness: Updated guidance on universal screening Links below:
Parents and childcare are a major economic concern. Might have an option to have kids in the hybrid learning model go to MOSS. Jim will send some concepts to Andrew to run through CARES act committee in Governor’s office/Commerce.
Cascade has a plan for returning to school that CDH has reviewed and there are robust protections in place.
There has been an uptick in suicides locally. Idaho Lives is a good resource for families and organizations. Prevention is key this fall and winter.
McCall City Council will consider renewal of its mask requirement at a special meeting at 5:00 pm tonight. Info is here:
There’s now in effect a mask mandate from CDH for schools in Ada Co. Valley county is working on masking regs with CDH. Cascade has not expanded the mask recommendation to a mandate at this time. CDH shared a resource from the White House regarding Idaho’s efforts:
The task force continues to explore options to celebrate the positive aspects of our great region. A kindness campaign is in the works. is a website that offers kindness cards free.
McKenzie is filming the mask video today, regionally. Individuals and businesses are sharing their message. A new social promotion pack is going out as well. The group discussed a mask distribution day, maybe at a public park, grocery stores, bank, post office, library. Maybe for an extended time instead of a day. There may be concerns with anti-maskers being disruptive if these stations are not manned. McKenzie also has created/posted new resources about testing and if someone is sick is live on PMP website.
Andrew noted the economic summit committee is meeting soon to discuss next steps and remote options. Mac noted that the whova app is a good option for events remotely.
We need to get prepared for winter when patios are no longer open. This is a community challenge that applies to all.