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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 local and state coronavirus case reports 10/27/2020 @ 7:20 p.m.
There were 8 new cases of the COVID-19 virus confirmed in Bonner County over the weekend, while there were 97 new cases among the five northern Idaho counties and two additional deaths in Kootenai County, the Panhandle Health District reported Tuesday. The total case count to date in Bonner County is 495, of which 112 are classified as active. The total case count in the five counties covered by the health district to date as of Tuesday is 5,185 cases. Of that total, 1,365 are classified as active. There have been 74 deaths in the five-county region, with 287 hospitalizations to date and 37 currently hospitalized. Statistics by county in our region are as follows:

  • Kootenai County: 4,099 total cases, 1,113 active | 48 deaths
  • Bonner County: 495 total cases, 112 active | 2 deaths
  • Benewah County: 173 total cases, 17 active | 3 deaths
  • Boundary County: 151 total cases, 70 active | 1 death
  • Shoshone County: 264 total cases, 42 active | 20 deaths

The health district provides assessments of each county's risk levels to provide guidance for business and school district operations. On Tuesday, Kootenai and Boundary counties remained at red, or "substantial," the highest risk level, while Shoshone was orange, or moderate. Bonner and Benewah remained assessed at yellow, or minimal risk. Click for risk level criteria. The health district asks all citizens to be vigilant in distancing, use of masks and sanitation. For Panhandle Health District's latest news releases, click to its News page or Facebook @PanhandleHealth.

Statewide, on Tuesday Idaho state reported 882 new cases, for a total of 60,923 confirmed cases to date. Statewide fatalities are reported at 585, an increase of five from the previous day. An additional 2,063 were tested statewide in the past day, for a total 375,400 tested to date. Of the total confirmed cases around the state, 28,533 are estimated recovered. There have been 2,483 cases hospitalized to date, with 542 admissions to ICU. Washington state on Tuesday reported 104,027 confirmed cases, up from 103,500 Monday, with 2,337 deaths to date, up from 2,321. Total tested statewide as of Tuesday is 2,362,595, up from 2,372,596 the previous day. Spokane County on Tuesday reported 9,279 cases to date, up from 9,213 Monday, with no additional deaths, for 198 fatalities to date. A total of 113,996 have been tested in Spokane County.

Idaho regresses to Stage 3 as case loads go higher 10/26/2020
With the coronavirus pandemic worsening in Idaho, Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced on October 26 the state will retreat from Stage 4 and re-enter Stage 3 of its Idaho Rebounds plan, with a few modifications. The main impact is that the limit on indoor gatherings reverts to 50 people or less, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 percent capacity. In-person church services may continue, travel is not restricted and businesses may remain open. Little has not instituted mask mandates but has called for individuals to step up their personal protections by maintaining distancing, wearing face masks in public, taking care to wash hands and sanitize surfaces, and staying home if sick.

Canadian border closure continues to at least November 21 10/18/2020
The CBC reported the U.S.-Canada border closure will be extended until at least November 21. "We keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. Story from CBC. The Trump administration on March 18 closed the border with Canada to all non-essential travel, and Canada subsequently applied its own closure. The closures stop all non-essential travel through the two Idaho border crossing stations at Porthill and Eastport, 60 miles north of Sandpoint.

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

Links to help manage personal and family health:

Free food resources for local families and residents 10/15/2020
Here are food resources for those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Expanded student meals. The Lake Pend Oreille School District provides free breakfast and lunch on weekdays, to those 18 years and under regardless of household income utilizing federal funding from the USDA. Details and applications at the district website,
  • Bonner Community Food Bank continues services but click to Food Bank website to check any changes in operations.
  • Free weekly meals. Everyone is welcome to take part in these free meals provided each week by churches and businesses:
      North Summit Church provide free meals to families in need. Pick 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.-1:30 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 free packaged to-go meals 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 current info and daily schedules.

'Support Local' listings of business operations 9/18/2020
Sandpoint's restaurants, shops, services, and churches have re-opened! 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.

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.

Innovia Foundation provides grants to community groups 6/16/2020
The Innovia Foundation has announced a second rounds of grants from its COVID-10 Community Response and Recovery Funds, allocating $39,000 to 12 nonprofit organizations in Bonner and Boundary counties that are working to meet community needs raised by the virus. Innovia in April awarded more than $40,000 in a first round of grants to 15 area nonprofit groups. In Innovia's entire two-state region, several dozen major funding partners including the Equinox Foundation of Sandpoint, have contributed more than $2.7 million

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.

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.


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