Reader Quick Hits: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

  • The most recent COVID-19 figures from the Panhandle Health District list four confirmed cases in Bonner County — unchanged since last week. Meanwhile, the number of cases in neighboring Kootenai County remained at 61, as reported April 27. Follow the daily PHD updates here. For Idaho statewide reporting, go to
  • Tune into a virtual candidates forum tonight, Tuesday, April 28 at 6 p.m. Hosted by the Sandpoint Reader and Sandpoint Online, the forum is accessible via videoconferencing platform Zoom here. No password should be required, but, if prompted to do so, enter 805566 to take part. Those who watch the forum will be able to type questions to the moderators, which will then be asked to the candidates. Candidates in contested District 1 races have confirmed they will give opening statements and answer questions submitted by participants. Participating candidates include: Steve Bradshaw (incumbent) and Butch Horton for Bonner County Commissioner District 1, and Sage Dixon (incumbent) and Gary Suppiger for District 1 State Representative Seat B. The primary election is set for Tuesday, May 19 and will be conducted with mail-in ballots only. Visit the Bonner County Elections page for more info here and look for more election coverage in the April 30 and May 7 editions of the Reader.
  • The Sandpoint City Council has posted the agenda for its Wednesday, April 29 meeting, including items such as allocating $10,000 in funding for the Bonner County Economic Development Corporation’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Business Program; a reluctant recommendation by the Parks and Rec. Department to eliminate the annual City Beach lifeguard program; and the adoption of a phased reopening plan for city services, facilities and sponsored programs. Click here for more details and instructions on how to participate in the meeting remotely. Click here to access live streaming and archived video of city meetings, including council proceedings.
  • The federal Paycheck Protection Program reopened for a second round of emergency business support loans April 27, but national media report widespread chaos and distress as processing systems break down from the demand from applicants, claims linger in backlogged limbo, and some big corporations apparently secure financial assistance that they don’t need and are now being required to return. Meanwhile, banks are struggling to keep pace with evolving guidance from the Small Business Administration, which is itself struggling to make distributions timelier and more equitable toward the small coronarivus-affected businesses the program was intended to serve.
  • According to researchers in Greece and France, tobacco smokers appear to be less severely affected by COVID-19 than health experts would have expected. In fact, according to an April 28 report from Vice News, some experts hypothesize that nicotine might act as an anti-inflammatory agent, aiding in lessening the effects of the coronavirus on the body or helping resist contracting the virus altogether. While every scientist who has approached the theory warns people not to pick up smoking cigarettes or lay up a supply of nicotine delivery products as a means of self-treating for COVID-19, the relative lack of cases — severe or otherwise — for smokers is a surprise that some say merits more study, with a research article forthcoming in the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine. Read more here.

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