Reader Quick Hits: May 22, 2020

  • Only two of the 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Panhandle Health District are still being monitored, the district reported May 22. Of those, 66 were in Kootenai County and four were in Bonner County. None of the confirmed local cases are being monitored any longer, meaning individuals who contracted the virus have stayed home for the recommended period of time; have not manifested a fever for at least 72 hours, and without using fever-reducing medicines; have improved symptoms, such as no longer suffering from shortness of breath or coughing; and have experienced at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. Follow PHD updates here.
  • Statewide reporting as of 5 p.m. (MST) on May 22 indicates 61 new confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Idaho as the number of those who have died from the virus climbed to 79. Total cases since reporting began in mid-March is at 2,595. Follow state updates here.
  • A “cluster” of COVID-19 cases cropped up at food processing plants in Jerome County, Idaho, state reporting indicated May 22 — close on the heels of another outbreak of cases in Spokane County, according to KREM 2 News. Boise-based KTVB 7 reported that the Jerome outbreak represents “one of the largest jumps the region has seen in several weeks.” Officials approved Spokane County to enter Phase 2 of its reopening plan on May 22.
  • Idaho Gov. Brad Little provided an update on the “Idaho Rebounds” reopening plan May 22, including more information on the state’s COVID-19 testing strategy. The strategy came from a task force assembled to address the state’s response to COVID-19, and includes a five-level priority schedule for those who receive testing — Priority 1 being those who work in the health care industry, work or reside in nursing facilities and others with close contact with individuals at high risk for complications from the virus. The task force also recommended that testing be expanded across the population. Read more here.
  • Flags are to be flow at half-staff until sunset on Sunday, May 24, to honor those who have died from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The gesture comes at the request of President Donald Trump. Get more flag status updates here.
  • An asteroid three times the size of the Empire State Building passed within a mere 3.8 million miles of Earth on May 21, U.K.-based The Sun reported. According to the paper, the space rock measured a mile wide and moved at a rate of seven miles per second. Meanwhile, a meteor also burned up in the planet’s atmosphere May 21, spurring reports throughout the West of a fireball illuminating the night sky. Area resident Mike Peck’s security camera captured the flash of light. See his video (used by permission) here:

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