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As things change daily due to the effect the coronavirus has in our FRANKLIN COUNTY community, they will be posted here. Please contact us (208-852-0155 or copy@prestoncitizen.com) if you have an event that has been postponed or canceled or, if you need help or have ideas or services that can help others. We will share them here on a daily basis.

• Blue Cross of Idaho's  has waived all member cost-sharing for testing and treatment of COVID-19. The company’s decision benefits its individual, fully insured and Medicare Advantage members.

• The IRS noted today that if someone is on Social Security and doesn't file a tax return, they will still get their check under the CARES Act directly deposited into their bank account.
 
• Governor Brad Little signed two proclamations today – one lifts restrictions on 125 administrative rules to increase healthcare provider capacity and reduce barriers to healthcare access and another extends the state income tax filing and payment deadline to June 15, 2020.
 
• SIPH encourages increased compliance with governor's Stay-Home Order.
 
• Idaho is reporting 891 verified cases of COVID-19. No cases have been confirmed in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Bonner (1), Kootenai (37), Latah (1), Idaho (1), Lewis (1), Nez Pece (13), Adams (1), Canyon (79), Gem (6), Owyhee (2), Payette (5), Washington (1), Ada (307), Elmore (9), Valley (3), Blaine (351), Camas (1), Cassia (3), Jerome (8), Lincoln (5), Minidoka (1), Gooding (1), Twin Falls (32), Bannock (4), Bingham (2), Bonneville (3), Custer (2), Fremont (1), Jefferson (3), Madison (4), Teton (3). Nine deaths have been confirmed in Idaho.

Wednesday, April 1

• Stokes Market/True Value has implemented 7-8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays as a shopping hour for their high risk/60+ shoppers. Others with special circumstances may call Stokes' customer service at 208-852-1731.

• Idaho is reporting 673 verified cases of COVID-19. No cases have been confirmed in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Bonner (1), Kootenai (31), Latah (1), Idaho (1), Lewis (1), Nez Pece (14), Adams (1), Canyon (68), Gem (4), Owyhee (1), Payette (3), Ada (226), Elmore (3), Valley (2), Blaine (256), Camas (1), Cassia (1), Jerome (4), Lincoln (5), Minidoka (1), Twin Falls (17), Bannock (4), Bingham (2), Bonneville (2), Custer (2), Fremont (1), Jefferson (3), Madison (4), Teton (3). Nine deaths have been confirmed in Idaho.

Tuesday, March 31

• Idaho is reporting 525 verified cases of COVID-19. No cases have been confirmed in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Bonner (1), Kootenai (30), Idaho (1), Nez Pece (9), Adam (1), Canyon (53), Gem (3), Owyhee (1), Payette (1), Ada (195), Elmore (3), Valley (2), Blaine (192), Cassia (1), Jerome (2), Lincoln (2), Minidoka (1), Twin Falls (5), Bannock (4), Bingham (2), Bonneville (2), Custer (2), Fremont (1), Jefferson (3), Madison (4), Teton (2). Nine deaths have been confirmed in Idaho.

• Cache County has confirmed 7 cases of COVIC-19.

• Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses is set to go sometime between April 2- April 6. Zion’s Bank, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Ireland Bank, Altabank are all participating with the Small Business Association in this program. Advantage Plus Federal Credit Union will not be participating. (Watch www.prestoncitizen.com for article to follow with details.)

• Idaho State Parks offers opportunities to explore Idaho online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhQKe_AhXL4. See related article at www.prestoncitizen.com for additional links.

Monday, March 30

• Idaho is reporting 415 verified cases of COVID-19. No cases have been identified in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Bonner (1), Boundary (1), Kootenai (27), Idaho (1), Nez Pece (7), Canyon (48), Gem (3), Owyhee (1), Payette (1), Ada (151), Elmore (1), Valley (1), Blaine (148), Cassia (1), Jerome (1), Lincoln (1), Minidoka (1), Twin Falls (5), Bannock (3), Bingham (1), Bonneville (2), Custer (1), Fremont (1), Jefferson (2), Madison (2), Teton (2). Six deaths have been confirmed in Idaho.

Sunday, March 29

• Idaho is reporting 310 verified cases of COVID-19. No cases have been identified in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Kootenai (13), Idaho (1), Nez Pece (4), Canyon (40), Gem (30), Owyhee (1), Payette (1), Ada (113), Valley (1), Blaine (115), Cassia (1), Lincoln (1), Twin Falls (2), Bannock (3), Bingham (1), Bonneville (1), Custer (1), Fremont (1), Jefferson (2), Madison (2), Teton (2). Six deaths have been confirmed in Idaho.

• Bear River Health Department has identified six cases of coronavirus in Cache County.

Saturday, March 28

• Idaho is reporting 261 verified cases of COVID-19. No cases have been identified in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Kootenai (13), Idaho (1), Nez Pece (4), Canyon (22), Payette (1), Ada (88 ), Valley (1), Blaine (114), Cassia (1), Lincoln (1), Twin Falls (2), Bannock (3), Bingham (1), Bonneville (1), Custer (1), Fremont (1), Jefferson (2), Madison (2), Teton (2). Five deaths have been confirmed in Idaho.

• Bear River Health Department orders closure of fitness center, spas, entertainment venues, surgery centers in Cache County.

Friday, March 27

• Bear River Health Department has identified five cases of coronavirus in Cache County.

• Idaho is reporting 230 verified cases of COVID-19. No cases have been identified in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Kootenai (11), Idaho (1), Nez Pece (4), Canyon (23), Payette (1), Ada (75), Valley (1), Blaine (99), Cassia (1), Twin (2), Bannock (3), Bingham (1), Custer (1), Fremont (1), Jefferson (2), Madison (2), Teton (2). Four deaths have been confirmed in Idaho.

• Utah Gov. Herbert asks Utahs to stay home.

Thursday, March 26

• Idaho is reporting its first deaths due to COVID-19. Two men from Blaine County, one over the age of 80 and one over the age of 60, and another man over the age of 70 from Canyon County. The state has confirmed 189 cases of coronavirus in the state. No cases have been identified in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Kootenai (9), Idaho (1), Nez Pece (4), Canyon (21), Payette (1), Ada (53), Valley (1), Blaine (82), Cassia (1), Twin (1), Bannock (2), Bingham (1), Custer (1), Fremont (1), Jefferson (2), Madison (2), Teton (2).

• Gov. Little and public health department officials will answer questions about COVID-10 live on Idaho Public Television today at 8 p.m. 

Wednesday, March 25

• Idaho has confirmed 123 cases of COVID-19 in the state. None are in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Kootenai (9), Idaho (1), Nez Pece (1), Canyon (8), Payette (1), Ada (37), Valley (1), Blaine (52), Cassia (1), Twin (1), Bannock (3), Bingham (1), Fremont (1), Jefferson (2), Madison (2), Teton (2).

• FCMC Transitional Care (nursing home) unit has banned visitors and is asking family to contact loved ones through video chat.

• FCMC has restricted visitors or caregivers to those over the age of 18 and one per patient.

• Lava Hot Springs has closed for the time being.

• Gov. Little issues state-wide stay-at-home order.

• Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints close to all ordinances worldwide.

• Preston City closes city offices to public except for 12-4 p.m. through the drive-up window. Cancels April 8 P&Z meeting and April 13 council meeting.

• Idaho State Parks remain open for day use recreation but camping will end on Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m., in keeping with stay-at-home order.

Tuesday, March 24

• Idaho has confirmed 73 cases of coronavirus within the state. None in Franklin County.

• The Heritage Home has banned visitors under the age of 18, multiple visitors, and visiting in the public areas. Visitors will be checked for a temperature upon arrival.

Monday, March 23

• Southeastern Idaho Public Health has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Bannock County. This brings the total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Idaho to 52. None in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Kootenai (3), Canyon (4), Ada (15), Valley (1), Blaine (21), Twin (1), Bingham (1), Madison (2), Teton (2).

• Preston City offices are conducting business from the drive-up window and payment box only. The public may meet with employees by appointment only.

• Until further notice, Southeastern Idaho Public Health WIC offices are now conducting all WIC appointments by phone instead in person appointments.

• Preston Drug requests the public to call in or utilize its app for refills and use the drive through to help protect people who are more susceptible to the coronavirus.

• Wendy’s to operate as drive-thru restaurant only beginning March 24.

Idaho State Board of Education directs soft closure of all Idaho schools until April 20.

Friday, March 20

• 42 cases of COVID19 have been confirmed as of 5 p.m. today, in Idaho. None in Franklin County. Counties with confirmed cases include Ada (11), Bingham (2), Blaine (21), Canyon (1), Kootenai (3), Madison (1), Teton (2), and Twin Falls (1).

• Tax preparation deadlines can be adjusted to accommodate to disruptions due to the coronavirus, notes Travis Kunz, local CPA and tax preparer. Taxes owed must be paid by July 15, 2020.

• DEQ is asking the public to only flush toilet paper to avoid costly damage to private and public sewer lines and treatment systems as more Idahoans stay home.

Paper towels, wipes, napkins, Q-tips, and feminine hygiene products, even those marked as flushable, can clog sewer lines and cause sewage backups.

• Some missionaries have returned home from their missions due to the coronavirus. Others will begin their mission training at home.

Kelley Family Dentistry, following American Dental Association and the Idaho Dental Society recommendations, has decided to cancel all elective procedures through the end of next week. They will re-evaluate on a week by week basis. The doctors will be available for emergencies as needed, and someone at the front desk to answer non-emergency questions or concerns.

Thursday, March 19

• Eleven cases of COVID19 have been confirmed in Idaho. None in Franklin County. Counties with confirmed cases include Ada (3), Blaine (5), Madison (1), Teton (1), Twin Falls (1). Update: as of 5 p.m., 23 cases had been identified in Idaho

• Franklin County officials issue a new policy for conducting business at county offices. Anything that can be done online should, otherwise appointments may be made by calling 208-852-1090 first. For additional details see http://bit.ly/3b8hjrv

• Stokes Market implemented a policy last night to limit purchases to two of any item except produce, which are limited to 10 (bags potatoes are limited to 1).

• Blue Cross of Idaho has waived all cost-sharing for doctor’s office and urgent care visits related to testing for COVID-19.

Wednesday, March 18

• Nine cases of COVID19 have been confirmed in Idaho.

• Stokes Market closed its hot bar by the deli. The deli itself remains open.

• The Franklin County Fire District has temporarily stopped renting the public space at the Preston station. Those with standing reservations will not be able to use the public space. For more information, call 208-852-3111.

• The Preston Aquatic Center has suspended all group classes, including water aerobics and swim team. There are new hours for those wanting to walk or lap swim: 5:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.

• “The first cases of COVID-19 have been officially detected in Cache Valley as a Logan couple tested positive for the virus, but health officials are stressing that it isn’t cause for additional alarm.

“Individuals who may have had close contact with confirmed cases will be notified by the health department,” Bear River Health Department stated Wednesday afternoon,” states the Logan Herald Journal.

• The Preston Community Food Pantry will open as usual on Friday but has modified its method for dispersing food. Only five individuals will be admitted at a time, as they plus volunteers will meet the 10-person limit requested to slow possible spread of the coronavirus. Other patrons are requested to wait in their vehicles until invited in, said director Steve Aust. Additional measures will be explained on site.

Tuesday, March 17

• The Worm Creek Opera House has closed until April 3. The Call of the Wild will be shown the week of April 3.

• As noted on The Preston Citizen last night, March 16, both school districts have closed until after spring break, which ends March 30.

• Because the public has been asked to not gather in groups of 10 or more, the Preston Senior Community Center will continue to prepare meals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but will not be serving them in their dining room. Meals will be delivered to patrons in a drive-up fashion.

“Please call us at 208-852-2844 or 208-852-2727 and we will bring the meal out,” said director Carol Parker.

• The Idaho Transportation Department is encouraging people to take advantage of their online DMV services instead of coming into the Sheriff’s Office. Those services are: Driver’s license renewal (not for first-time Star Card), acquiring a replacement driver’s license or identification card‡, paying driver’s license reinstatement fees‡, purchasing a driving record, vehicle registration renewal‡, ordering personalized license plates, checking status of vehicle plates and titles, commercial vehicle oversize/overweight permits‡, and commercial vehicle registrations.

Dominion Energy has announced that is will not disconnect natural gas customers for non-payment. “Customers should not have to worry about losing service during this critical time. The company has suspended all service disconnections for non-payment. Residential customers previously disconnected due to non-payment may contact the company for assistance reconnecting service,” states the press release.

• Willow Valley Medical Clinic is offering drive-up tests for patients that suspect or develop coronavirus symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath). To use the system, patrons must call 208.904.8932 in advance to schedule the drive-up screening, which will be completed from the patron’s vehicle. The service is available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“At this time, the coronavirus does not have a prescribed medical treatment. We ask patients that do NOT require oxygen or other hospital needs to self-isolate at home with proper rest and hydration,” states the clinic’s post.

• Big J’s & Pizza Villa have modified their services to take-out only. Orders may be placed at the Preston restaurants or called-in, but the dining room will be closed for the time being. Their menu may be found on their facebook page.

• Bear River Health Department announced the first case of COVID-19 confirmed in Box Elder County, today, March 17. There are NO confirmed cases in Idaho’s Health District 6, of which Franklin County is part, state officials.

• The Slice in Preston is operating on a take-out basis only. Pizza can be ordered during their regular business hours.

• Stokes Market has implemented a new schedule beginning tomorrow March 18, to allow its team “to clean the store, restock the shelves and rest.” The new store hours will be 7 a.m. — 9 p.m. Monday — Saturday in the main store, and 7 a.m. — 7 p.m. Monday — Saturday in the True Value section. The store will remain closed on Sundays.

• AmeriGas/V1 Propane is closing its store until further notice. Energy assistance customers or those needing a tank recertified may call for appointments. All other business can be conducted online, including ordering propane or paying a bill. For more information, call 208-852-0579 (Preston) or 208-237-4140 (Pocatello) and leave a message.

• Deseret Industries is temporarily shut down. DI will not be accepting donations during this closure.

• Magnolia Road is shutting down until April 6.

• Wendy’s is open in the drive thru, and dining room is takeout only.

Bear River Archers is closed this week and pending for next week.

Monday, March 16

• Preston City cancels town meeting.

• Preston and West Side school districts close schools for the rest of the week, lengthening spring break by three days. School officials will determine whether the school closing will continue past spring break (March 27) on Thursday, March 26.

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