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Preston
Franklin County and Preston leaders address pandemic

Franklin County Commissioners, Preston City Mayor and Council and Franklin County Fire Commissioners addressed their communities Saturday morning with a message of common sense in regards to dealing with the effects of the Corona virus pandemic. Following is that message, which is also posted on their respective websites: Our beloved America is the greatest, most prosperous, stable country since the beginning of mankind. We consider Cache Valley to be among the most treasured locations to live on earth. We are blessed to live in a “land of milk and honey” where God loving people, whose liberties are protected by the Constitutuion, can enjoy an abundant life. However, on occasion, the greatest threat to our way of life can come from within. We are currently facing an announced pandemic. How we respond to this threat can drastically sway the eventual outcome. Our choices are to act or to be acted upon. When we act, we prepare for unknown eventualities such as gradually buying extra food, candles, medications, matches, blankets and maybe an extra roll or two of toilet paper! When we react and a real threat comes, our way, people race to the store to panic buy “whatever is left.” This knee-jerk reaction is not only dangerous, but potentially destructive AND expensive as the law of supply and demand becomes out of balance. A calm response and a trust in our civil society can avoid a castrastrophic collision. A great example of that would be like a car in rush hour traffic slamming on its brakes. Those affected by that action could easily go back 100 vehicles. Let’s calmly act to protect ourselves. Wash your hands, Stay away from large groups and the ill for the time being. If you exhibit flu like symptoms, self-quarantine. Unless you feel absolutely necessary to go to the hospital, call them first for guidance instead of just stopping by. Obviously use your best judgement. High risk patients, i.e., the elderly or those with weak immune systems are exempt. Again, make common sense decisions. As a final thought, the threat is real, but please remember that there are many people in the media that specialize in fear mongering for possible financial and political gain. Listen to trusted experts, don’t panic, call for medical advice, use all safe practices, plan calmly for the future, love life, help out your neighbors and most importantly, have a big bowl of your favorite ice cream! Franklin County Fire District Commissioners Franklin County Commissioners Preston Mayor and City Council Members of the fire commission are Dave Kerr, Brian Checketts and Ben Kendall. Members of the county commission are Dirk Bowles, Boyd Burbank and Robert Swainston. Members of the Preston City Council are Mayor Dan Keller, Brent Dodge, Terry Larsen, Allyson Wadsworth and Todd Thomas.

Franklin County Commissioners, Preston City Mayor and Council and Franklin County Fire Commissioners addressed their communities Saturday morning with a message of common sense in regards to dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following is that message, which is also posted on their respective websites:

Our beloved America is the greatest, most prosperous, stable country since the beginning of mankind. We consider Cache Valley to be among the most treasured locations to live on earth. We are blessed to live in a “land of milk and honey” where God loving people, whose liberties are protected by the Constitutuion, can enjoy an abundant life. However, on occasion, the greatest threat to our way of life can come from within.

We are currently facing an announced pandemic. How we respond to this threat can drastically sway the eventual outcome. Our choices are to act or to be acted upon.

When we act, we prepare for unknown eventualities such as gradually buying extra food, candles, medications, matches, blankets and maybe an extra roll or two of toilet paper! When we react and a real threat comes, our way, people race to the store to panic buy “whatever is left.” This knee-jerk reaction is not only dangerous, but potentially destructive AND expensive as the law of supply and demand becomes out of balance.

A calm response and a trust in our civil society can avoid a castrastrophic collision. A great example of that would be like a car in rush hour traffic slamming on its brakes. Those affected by that action could easily go back 100 vehicles.

Let’s calmly act to protect ourselves. Wash your hands, Stay away from large groups and the ill for the time being. If you exhibit flu like symptoms, self-quarantine. Unless you feel absolutely necessary to go to the hospital, call them first for guidance instead of just stopping by. Obviously use your best judgement. High risk patients, i.e., the elderly or those with weak immune systems are exempt. Again, make common sense decisions.

As a final thought, the threat is real, but please remember that there are many people in the media that specialize in fear mongering for possible financial and political gain. Listen to trusted experts, don’t panic, call for medical advice, use all safe practices, plan calmly for the future, love life, help out your neighbors and most importantly, have a big bowl of your favorite ice cream!

Franklin County Fire District Commissioners

Franklin County Commissioners

Preston Mayor and City Council

Members of the fire commission are Dave Kerr, Brian Checketts and Ben Kendall.

Members of the county commission are Dirk Bowles, Boyd Burbank and Robert Swainston.

Members of the Preston City Council are Mayor Dan Keller, Brent Dodge, Terry Larsen, Allyson Wadsworth and Todd Thomas.


Preston
Fear fuels rush on supplies

Rumors circulating early Friday morning that there was no food in Stokes Market were false, but “it was going fast,” said Reed Nelson, the store’s director. The store opened at 7 a.m. to a parking lot full of patrons.

On Thursday, one patron heard another gasp, “They are out of carts!”

“I have to admit it was a bit shocking to see no pasta on four shelves, and the tomato sauces were mysteriously missing also. Case goods on the for-sale rows were just gone. People were still cheerful and friendly, albeit incredulous to wait 20 minutes for check out. As most customers smiled and visited to pass the time, one poor lady wandered up and down the main row lamenting, “There is no toilet paper! Where did it all go? The shelves are empty. . .” said patron Patsy Shipley. “I would have offered her some, but it was not on my list that day, and no one around me seemed to have any either.”

Although Stokes will continue to order in supplies, Nelson said the problem is that there won’t be much to buy for a week or two — maybe longer.

“There’s no way to predict when we’ll get things back in stock,” he said, attributing the uncertainty to supply and demand. Major buyers will get supplies first. “Our warehouse is well down the line in the world. We’re small potatoes,” he said. Furthermore, it takes healthy people to deliver supplies, he said, expressing concern that a pandemic may affect supply lines.

The store, which had just begun its spring case-lot sale, had ordered in what “supposedly was enough to last two weeks and it lasted two days,” said Nelson.

“They are going out of here with $300-$400 worth of food at a time,” he said. “I’ve never seen ‘em panic like this. Once they found out they cancelled the NBA and NCAA, people just panicked.”

The NBA suspended its season Wednesday, March 11, following a diagnosis of the Coronavirus in Jazz player Rudy Gobert. Also that day, U.S. President Donald Trump suspended travel to the U.S. from most of Europe for 30 days. He has since declared a national emergency over the fast-spreading coronavirus to free up $50 billion in federal aid and designated Sunday, March 15, as a national day of prayer.

On March 12, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that all worship services would temporarily be suspended. The day before, among announcements of changes to temple schedules and missionary training, the Church announced that its annual general conference Sessions will be held virtually. Members will not gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City or at stake centers or meetinghouses in areas where COVID-19 is active.

Amid cancellations of one public event after another, on March 13, the state of Utah announced that school would be cancelled for the next two weeks. Officials will then reevaluate whether to continue the suspension or not.

Also Friday afternoon, Idaho announced its first identified case of the corona virus. A 50-year-old woman in Boise who had attended a conference in New York two weeks ago is exhibiting minor symptoms.

Locally, Preston School District and the West Side School District have yet to make a determination as to whether any modifications will be made to the school schedule or not.

During the last week, students at Preston Junior High were asked to use hand sanitizer as they enter each classroom. High school students were urged to use good sanitation practices.

The Southeastern Idaho Public Health (SIPH) has opened an information hotline for concerns about COVID-19.

“This hotline is open to healthcare professionals, community leaders, and residents who have questions about COVID-19,” said Maggie Mann, SIPH Executive Director. “We want to make sure the public has plenty of access to accurate and factual information so they can take steps to protect their family from getting sick.”

The hotline activated at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 13, will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (208)234-5875. Southeastern Idaho Public Health is also actively updating information siphidaho.org

More information from the state is available at coronavirus.idaho.gov.

“We understand that correct information is crucial when protecting your family,” said Tracy McCulloch, Community Health Director. “For now, the best thing you can do is to follow the same precautions we recommend every winter during cold and flu season.”

Those precautions include:

· Wash your hands well and often.

· Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow instead of your hand.

· Avoid contact with sick people.

· Stay home when you are sick.

If anyone is concerned that they have COVID-19 they should call their healthcare provider and ask for guidance. They should only visit a hospital emergency room if they are having a health emergency.

Older residents, who are most susceptible to the ravages of the corona virus, would benefit from the concern of neighbors and family members.

Other suggestions as issued by the Centers for Disease Control can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html


Preston
top story
From the Publisher

Dear readers,

We at the Preston Citizen value your health and the health of our employees. As public health officials have advised, we are taking steps to minimize person-to-person contact and do our part in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, we are closing our doors to public customer traffic for the time being.

We are still here to serve you, however. The following departments can be reached at:

CIRCULATION: 208-852-0155

CLASSIFIED: 208-852-0155

ADVERTISING: 28-221-4510

NEWS: 208-852-1837

Thank you for understanding. We will continue our news coverage of this pandemic situation as long as it continues. For updates in between print editions, please visit www.prestoncitizen.com.

Travis Quast, President and Publisher


Preston
Corona virus affects local schedules

Gov. Brad Little declined to order a statewide closure of schools on Sunday, instead telling school leaders that the decision on whether to close to slow the spread of coronavirus should be made locally.

The trustees of the Preston School District and the West Side School District determined on Sunday that classes would be held this week. Spring break starts March 23 in both school districts. At present, class is scheduled to resume on March 30.

“We continue to ask that if you are sick that you stay home,” states a notice sent to Preston patrons Sunday evening. Additionally, the districts are asking students and staff who have traveled from a community where there are documented cases of coronavirus to stay home.

The district assured patrons that if parents decide to keep their children home, homework and adequate time to complete that work will be afforded. On Monday, 31 percent of students in the Preston district were absent.

The superintendents of both districts said they and their boards of trustees made the decision to keep school open based by following the guidelines of the Centers of Disease Control. That decision is being reevaluated on a daily basis.

“We didn’t use other counties as a measuring tool,” said Preston Superintendent Marc Gee. “There are no confirmed cases in any of the counties around us, including in Utah.”

“Who am I to second-guess the recommendations of a world renowned organization (the CDC),” said West Side superintendent Spencer Barzee.

Keeping kids at home puts at risk the elderly who are often asked to watch them, and keeps at home the health workers needed to take care of the sick, notes the CDC recommendations.

“We’ve got to use some common sense,” said Barzee. “Parents who can’t work, don’t get paid. We are disinfecting high traffic areas and the buses on a daily basis, and educating kids on good health practices.”

All high school sports and practices were suspended by the Idaho Association of High School Sports on Monday, March 16 through April 5.

West Side High School’s spring musical, Beauty and the Beast has been postponed until further notice.

In the Preston School District, the high school and junior high orchestra concert, band and choir concerts have all been either canceled or postponed. After school orchestra classes, however, will be held.

• The Larsen-Sant Library will be closed at the end of the day on March 19 until further notice and has suspended all activities hosted there. The drive-up window, however, will remain open at an adjusted time frame: 10-6 M-F and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. Patrons can call the library at (208) 852-0175 and staff will have books ready at the drive-up window.

The library’s community room will still be available for scheduling. Patrons can pick up the key at the drive-up window during library hours. Custodians will sanitize the room after use.

The Book Drop is available for book returns.

• The Franklin County Medical Center postponed its April March 19 Bowling Alley Fundraiser and the Health Fair Expo slated for April 18, has been canceled.

• Stokes Marketplace remains open and has received accolades from patrons for the extra effort they put in to help patrons through a run on supplies that began last week.

• The Preston Area Chamber of Commerce canceled its fourth Thursday luncheon and weekly meetings.

• Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remained home for Sunday services. Its family history center in Preston is closed for the time being and related institute classes canceled.

• Grace Fellowship Church is still holding Sunday worship services but invites members who are unable to attend to watch a live stream on their Facebook page @GraceFellowshipPreston.

• The Lion’s Club has canceled its community Easter Egg Hunt for this year.

• The Franklin County DDA is closed until further notice.

• Preston City has canceled the March 23 council meeting and public hearing, as well as the March 25 City Planning and Zoning meeting.

The Citizen invites the public to contact us with updates to other public event schedules as well as the different ways Franklin County residents are accommodating the changes to their lifestyles related to the coronavirus. All updates Please call or email us at 208-852-0155 or editor@prestoncitizen.com.