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Information, news and resources on the COVID-19 coronavirus response in Sandpoint, Idaho, and Bonner County, Idaho. Links are provided to relevant information on local, state and national websites and news sources including local Sandpoint-area newspapers.

Coronavirus news & resources
Local news, announcements and actions concerning the coronavirus.

Current state and regional coronavirus case reports 6/3/2020 @ 4:30 p.m.
Three new cases of the coronavirus have occurred in North Idaho, the Panhandle Health District reported Wednesday, bringing the total of confirmed cases in our region to 97. Five of the cases have occurred in Bonner County, but four of those are no longer being monitored, meaning their symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Of the 97 cases in the five North Idaho counites, PHD said 68 are no longer monitored and there have been 10 hospitalizations. By county in our region, along with the five cases in Bonner County, there have been 78 in Kootenai County, seven in Benewah County and seven cases for which county of incidence is not yet identified. For the health district's latest news releases on regional cases, plus bulletins on various health matters, click to the PHD News page.

Statewide, Idaho state reported 57 new cases Wednesday, for a total of 2,990 confirmed cases. There were no additional deaths, leaving the statewide fatalities at 83. An additional 855 people were tested, for a total 49,524 tested in Idaho as of Wednesday, with 253 cases hospitalized. Of the total confirmed cases, 2,311 are considered recovered. Washington state on Wednesday reported 22,484 confirmed cases, up from 22,157 reported the previous day, with six additional fatalities for a total 1,135 deaths. Washington reported its total tested at 377,327, up from 368,799 at previous report, of which 6.0 percent have been positive. Spokane County Wednesday reported 16,939 have been tested, up from 16,182 reported Tuesday, with a total 627 confirmed cases in the county, up from 612. No new deaths were reported, leaving Spokane at 34 fatalities to date.

Governor moves state to Stage 3 in 'Idaho Rebounds' plan 5/29/2020
Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced the state has met the criteria to move to Stage 3 in his Idaho Rebounds plan to re-open Idaho businesses in four stages through June 26. Effective May 30, and following distancing and disinfection protocols, bars and movie theaters can open. Advancing to the final Stage 4 requires a continuing downward trend in the COVID-19 disease according to established criteria. The Idaho Rebounds initiative also includes assistance to small companies, utilizing federal relief funds to provide $300 million in grants to Idaho businesses.

Current information from county and city; links to info sites 5/28/2020
Bonner County and the City of Sandpoint release periodic information relating to the coronavirus outbreak. Following are current releases from City and County.

'Support Local' listings of business operations 5/29/2020
Sandpoint's restaurants, shops, services, and churches are re-opening! With the state progressing through the governor's Idaho Rebounds stages to ensure safe re-opening of economic and social activities, most Sandpoint businesses have opened their doors. Click to the Support Local business directory to find info on hours and operations. Provided by the Sandpoint Chamber and Sandpoint Online. All businesses are invited to add their information with the form on the listings page.

Free food resources for local students and residents 6/1/2020
Here are food resources for all impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Expanded student meals. The Lake Pend Oreille School District provides free breakfast and lunch sacks on weekdays, to those 18 years and under at the following sites. A supper sack will be provided at Farmin Stidwell and Kootenai Elementary schools. All sites are open to all, and children are not required to be present; a parent, guardian or sibling can pick up their meals. With schools now out for summer, a revised schedule may come after June 5. Details at
      - Clark Fork Jr./Sr. High School 11 am- 1 pm PST
      - Kootenai Elementary School 11 am-1 pm PST
      - Farmin Stidwell Elementary School 11 am- 1 pm PST
      - Southside Elementary School 11 am- 1 pm PST
  • Pack River Store has free sack lunches for porch pickup at the store and also other locations on set days; see more on Pack River Store Facebook.
  • Eureka Institute is partnering with local restaurants to provide free meals three days per week: Tostada Tuesdays with Eichardt's Pub & Grill, Wrap & Soup Thursdays with Matchwood Brewing and Community Curry on Fridays at Sandpoint Curry. The grub's free, but donations gratefully accepted to support this effort. Click for details.
  • Bonner Community Food Bank continues but click to Food Bank website to check changes in operations.
  • Get a Meal, Give a Meal has free lunch certificates at restaurants for those in need or front-line workers. See restaurants and details at
  • Free weekly meals. Everyone is welcome to take part in these free meals provided each week by churches and businesses:
      Arlo's has free take-out lunches for kids Mon-Fri, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Pick up at 124 Second Ave. (208) 255-4186
      North Summit Church provide free meals to families in need. Pck up Mon-Fri 4-6 p.m. at 201 N. Division St, or Sagle Community of Christ Church, 950 Sagle Rd. (208) 263-4818
      Hoot Owl Cafe, Highway 200 in Ponderay, serves free dinners to go Mondays, 4-7 p.m. Just swing by.
      Agape Cafe hosted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church serves free lunch Tuesday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at 221 S. Division (Church of God). (208) 263-3648
      United Methodist Church, 711 Main St, offers free to-go dinners Thursdays 4-6 p.m. No need to call ahead.
      St. Joseph Catholic Church, 601 S. Lincoln in Sandpoint, has a free soup kitchen Fridays 4-6 pm. No need to call ahead. Enter at side door.
  • Other businesses and service groups are offering free food and meals. Go to Sandpoint Community Resource Center for most current info and schedules.

Get a Meal, Give a Meal program continues 6/1/2020
Order a take-out meal and help twice over with the "Get a Meal, Give a Meal" initiative organized by Support beleaguered local restaurants and food service workers by ordering an extra meal for someone also affected by the virus outbreak, such as first responders, healthcare workers or recently unemployed.

Personal health resources
If you believe you may have symptoms of the coronavirus, the Panhandle Health District has a hotline with operators to discuss your symptoms and potentially provide a referral for testing. The PHD COVID-19 Informational Hotline is 877-415-5225.

Links to help manage personal and family health:

Innovia Foundation provides grants to community groups 5/12/2020
The Innovia Foundation has announced a second rounds of grants available for application by groups in Bonner and Boundary counties; applications are due by May 26, with recipients announced June 12. Innovia in its first round granted more than $40,500 to 15 Bonner and Boundary County nonprofit groups meeting needs raised by the COVID-19 crisis. Click below to apply, see grantees, or contribute.

Volunteer to sew masks or help others during the COVID-19 outbreak 4/13/2020
Groups and individuals are organizing various efforts to help meet needs in our community. Can you volunteer? Here are places to start:

SBA loans and help for businesses from state, Chamber, City, EDC 4/3/2020
The U.S. Government has enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, aka the CARES Act, a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill to assist businesses financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Administration effective April 3 is accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans for staffing and payroll expenses, as well as Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Locally, the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, City of Sandpoint and Bonner County EDC are taking steps to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

Relief bill enacted, provides $2 trillion for citizens, small businesses 3/27/2020
Congress passed, and the president today signed, a $2.2 trillion relief bill dubbed the CARES Act, to provide economic stimulus and aid to citizens. It expands unemployment benefits, will send direct payments of up to $1,200 to individuals, and provides federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

Announced changes to operations, local closures 4/6/2020
Announcements from agencies, groups and businesses. Click links to read details.

Secretary of State: Voting for May 19 primary by mail only 4/13/2020
Due to efforts to reduce spread of the coronavirus, the Idaho Secretary of State has ruled Idaho's May 19 primary election will be conducted by mail only, utilizing the absentee voting process. Click to complete information, including links for voter registration and absentee ballots, at Idaho Votes. For local election information with information on all races plus links for voting, go to Sandpoint Election Central.

Free public Internet hot spot activated downtown 3/27/2020
Ting, in conjunction with the City of Sandpoint and Matchwood Brewing, has activated a free drive-up hot spot for wi-fi Internet in the city parking lot directly east of Matchwood at 503 Oak Street. The free Internet is available 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Click for more information and map.

Contribute your computing power to find a cure 4/7/2020
Want to chip in on the computing power to stop the COVID-19 virus? You can help scientists solve world problems - like a cure for COVID - by adding your computer to a global network for research. See more at World Community Grid; locally you may email Roger at [email protected] to learn more.

Idaho governor extends stay-at-home orders 4/15/2020
Idaho Gov. Brad Little has extended his order for Idahoans to stay home to April, in the effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The order was initially imposed for 21 days, to end April 15. Essential activities, like going to grocery stores or picking up food from restaurants, still are allowed. Outdoor exercise near home is, too.

Idaho state parks remain open, but operations are reduced 3/25/2020
Visitor centers at Idaho state parks closed March 19, and camping was ordered suspended as of March 27. However, parks remain open for day use. All activities, group events and cabin rentals are discontinued. Visitor centers will stay closed through April, possibly longer. Read more at Idaho Parks.

President closes border with Canada; Mexican border to close as well 3/18/2020
In another coronavirus development with particular local impact: The Trump administration today closed the border with Canada to all non-essential travel, which will close the Porthill and Eastport border crossing stations. The administration is likely to close the border with Mexico. Story from PBS Newshour.


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