Sandpoint and northern Idaho news and information from our towns leading sources. Featuring news links from the Sandpoint Reader, and the Sandpoint Online Newsroom. Check the archives of Sandpoint Magazine, read features from local bloggers, writers and more.
Coronavirus news & resources
Local news, announcements and actions concerning the coronavirus.
With low COVID case rates, this page provides only occasional data updates. Utilize links below for current statistics.
Current local, regional and statewide case reports
The Panhandle Health District is now reporting COVID data weekly on Thursdays. See current statistics for the five North Idaho counties; click to the PHD COVID-19 Data Dashboard to see individual county statistics.
The State of Idaho reports statewide statistics each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Scroll down to "COVID-19 Cases At A Glance" to see statewide statistics, or click to the COVID-19 Case, Laboratory and Hospital Data Dashboard to see detailed statistics.
Local and regional vaccination providers
Want to get the jab? The State of Idaho has a pre-registration system where you can sign up for an appointment at local or nearby providers, or use its tools to find locations for a walk-in vaccination. Click for info.
Current county and state vaccination counts
See current vaccination rates in Idaho at a glance; click to find detailed data including vaccine rates locally on the COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard. Go to the Idaho COVID-19 dashboard.
Canada drops testing requirement for vaccinated visitors
The Government of Canada announced that effective April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water.
Travelers arriving to Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival if selected by mandatory random testing. Travelers selected for mandatory random testing are not required to quarantine while awaiting their test result. For more details, click to the Government of Canada news release.
Free food resources for local families and residents
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, LPOSD.org.
- 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 dinners Thursdays 4-6 p.m., either indoors on site or to-go. 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.
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:
Help for businesses from SBA, state, Bonner EDC 3/26/2021
The U.S. Government has enacted multiple programs to assist businesses financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Paycheck Protection Program, Shatter Venues Grants and more. The State of Idaho also has assistance programs for Idaho companies, while locally the Bonner County Economic Development Corporation can provide guidance. Click links for more details.
'Support Local' listings of business operations
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.
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.