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Closed, But Still Serving: Senior Activity Center Begins Curbside Lunch Service Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Pocatello Senior Activity Center providing free lunch pickup service for seniors.

(Press Release, March 23, 2020)

The building may be closed, but the staff at Pocatello’s Senior Activity Center (Center) is continuing to serve local seniors.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, Center staff will begin serving lunch meals from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Center issued the following instructions today to local seniors via email:

“Enter on the West side (behind Idaho Department of Labor), do not get out of your car. Roll down your window and a meal will be given to you through your car window.  Please remember no admittance to the building will be allowed.

If you are 60 and older the meal is free, donations are kindly accepted.

If you are under 60 the meal is $5.00 plus tax.

Curbside meals will be Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 AM -1:00 PM.  To check out the lunch menu go to and go to our Facebook page at Pocatello Senior Activity Center to like our page and follow us for senior information.

Questions call the Center. Be safe!

Best regards,

Marty Riedle
Senior Activity Center”


Guest Column: Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Matt Hunter on Supporting Our Community


by Matt Hunter, President/CEO, Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce

Matt Hunter, President/CEO, Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce (Photo Credit: Chamber Website)

In these tough times it so important that we find ways to support our fellow community members and businesses.  If you know of people that need help shopping for groceries or picking up their medication try and find a way to help them, maybe through your church or maybe you can do it yourself.  If you know of people that are unable to leave their homes give them a call every once in a while just to see how they are doing.  We need to look out for each other.

There are many ways that we can support the business community, also.  Think about your favorite restaurant that I can guarantee is struggling right now.  Many of the restaurants are offering curbside pick up or delivery that you can use to support them.  You could also consider buying a gift card from your favorite restaurant, coffee shop or retailer that you know you will use in the future.  Many of our local businesses also sell online so you can support them in that way.  We need these businesses to survive for the future of our community so please find a way to help them out.

The Chamber staff is here to help in any way that we can.  Please feel free to reach out to us by calling 208-233-1525.

Here are a few more updates from our area:

1. The State of Idaho has been approved for Businesses to apply for SBA Disaster Assistance.  For more information, visit:

There are also a few people that you can reach out to if you have questions:

Small Business Development Center: Ann Swanson: or Claudia Allen:

Eastern Idaho Development Corp: Samantha Damron:

2. The Idaho Food Bank Needs Volunteers: They request that you sign up to volunteer using By using this they can ensure that they don’t have too many people helping at any one time and they can keep people separated.

3. COVID-19 Share the Facts Info Sheet – see here:

Be Safe


CDC: People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness


(Press Release, March 22, 2020)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted the following update related to COVID-19 on the CDC website:

People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

People aged 65 years and older

People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

Other high-risk conditions could include:

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have heart disease with complications
  • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
  • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk

People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.


SIPH – Two Cases of COVID-19 Reported in Bannock County


(Press Release, March 23, 2020)

Below is a news release from Southeastern Idaho Public Health:

Southeastern Idaho Public Health has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Bannock County. This brings the total to three case in southeastern Idaho, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Idaho to 49.

The patients are males in their 30s from Bannock County, who both had a history of travel. They are both at home recovering. The investigation is in its primary stages.

“Protecting and preserving the health and safety of our residents is at the very core of what we do,” said Maggie Mann, SIPH District Director. “We are calling on each of you to follow public health guidance to help protect their families and prevent the virus from spreading. We must all do our part to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Prevention methods include:

• If you are sick, limit contact with others.
• Avoiding people who are sick.
• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs using a disinfecting solution.

If you believe you have been exposed, make sure to self-isolate. If you need medical attention, please call your healthcare provider in advance of a visit to discuss your symptoms and next steps. Public health does not do any testing for COVID-19 or store testing kits. SIPH’s focus is on slowing the spread of COVID-19, to ensure the protection of our community.

As a reminder, it is still cold and flu season, and you do not need to seek medical attention for a mild respiratory illness such as a cold. However, if you have had close contact with a person with known COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread and you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider and ask for instructions about how to seek care. They may order appropriate testing, and samples will be sent to the state lab or to a private lab as needed.

At this time, SIPH does not recommend testing of people who do not have symptoms. Because of the limited number of tests across the nation, there is a need to preserve them for the sickest and those with the highest risk of complications from an infection.

SIPH has opened a call center to field questions from the community and will be open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can reach the hotline at
(208) 234-5875.


Pocatello: Zoo Idaho Science Talk and ‘Run With The Big Dogs’ Events for April Have Been Cancelled


(Press Release, March 23, 2020)

Two events coming up in April in the City of Pocatello have been cancelled.

Zoo Idaho has cancelled the Science Talk that had been scheduled for April 2, 2020.

Run With the Big Dogs, a fundraising event for homeless animals that had been scheduled for April 25, 2020, has been cancelled.

Check in with the Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer for the latest news.  Like and follow us on Facebook to get notification when new stories appear.


Idaho Governor Brad Little to Host Press Conference on COVID-19, Monday, March 23, at 4 p.m. MST


(Press Release, March 23, 2020)

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little will host a press conference Monday, March 23, 2020, at 4 p.m. in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office to update Idahoans on the proactive measures the State is taking to help citizens. Credentialed members of the media only, please.

The press conference will be streamed to the public through Idaho Public Television at:


Teaching From Home: Coronavirus is Opportunity to Teach Government and Economics


Teaching From Home

Teaching Government and Economics

by: John Crowder

John Crowder, Owner of Crowder Education in Pocatello, Idaho

The fight against the coronavirus has been very disruptive.  People are out of work or working from home.  Some are confined to their homes.  Public events, gatherings, and activities have been cancelled.  Many children are out of school early…in some cases school is over for the year.

Yet, in spite of the difficulties we are facing in this time of crisis, there are also opportunities.  One of these is the chance to explore new ways to enhance your children’s education.  We are living through an experience that has major implications for government policies, particularly as they influence the economy.  What better time to have your students learn about government and economics, in theory and practice?


Government and economics are typically taught in the junior and senior high school years.  Economics, especially, is not a course that many students look forward to, because of the seemingly dry nature of the subject matter.  Yet, a knowledge of these subjects is critical to our prosperity as a nation.  As future voters, our students will make choices that will lead to greater prosperity and freedom, or a diminution of both.

For this reason, I encourage you to view, and have your older children view, the videos that are available on the Stossel in the Classroom website.  John Stossel routinely argues against the conventional wisdom and emotional reactions that are so prevalent in media soundbites.

Help your children learn to thoughtfully analyze government and economic policies.  View the Stossel in the Classroom videos, and then discuss the ideas with your students.  Help your children become the thinking leaders of the future.

You can learn more by visiting:




Idaho Congressmen Mike Simpson, Russ Fulcher, Join Pacific Northwest Colleagues Requesting more Ventilators for Region; Risch and Crapo Support Request


(Press Release, March 20, 2020)

U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson (ID-2nd Dist.)

Idaho Congressmen Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher joined Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) along with 15 other members of Congress from the Pacific Northwest Region sending Vice President Pence a joint letter expressing the great need for ventilators for the region. The most recent data from HHS and the American Association for Respiratory Care found that Washington and Oregon only have 13 ventilators per 100,000 people and Idaho only has 12 ventilators per 100,000. Comparatively the state median number of ventilators per 100,000 people is 20.5. Therefore, the Pacific Northwest Region needs more ventilators. The request comes following DOD announcing 2,000 additional ventilators being made available to HHS.

In part, the letter reads, “Unfortunately, we fear that the existing availability of ventilators may prove to not be enough. According to an analysis published in Health Affairs projected that a possible 20.5 million Americans could require hospitalization due to COVID-19 and that that if the infection curve is not flattened and the pandemic peaks over 6 months there would be a needs gap of 295,350 ICU beds. We urge the White House to convene every ventilator manufacturer with the purpose of developing a collective national manufacturing goal to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“The White House Coronavirus Task Force has been incredibly responsive to our requests and I believe they are using all available resources to help the American people,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “We’ve reached out for additional ventilators for our states, as we are in dire need for more devices.”

U.S. Congressman Russ Fulcher (ID-1st Dist.)

“Proud to sign on to a letter with my fellow members from the Pacific Northwest to request more ventilators to our region. Our letter points out that Idaho, Oregon, and Washington hospitals have reported a shortage of ventilators,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “We’re asking that priority go to those states where the shortage is most acute. Ventilators assist or replace respiratory functions, getting oxygen into the blood for vital organs. They are a major supportive treatment for patients in the critical stage of COVID-19.”

“I thank Representatives Simpson and Fulcher for their leadership in the House on efforts give health care providers access to ventilators necessary to care for COVID-19 patients,” said Senator Mike Crapo. “I am continuing to work with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure health care systems have all of the resources they need to care for COVID-19 patients and to further reduce the virus’ spread across the country.”

“Ventilators are a critical lifeline for people suffering from serious respiratory failure. Under the dire circumstances presented to us by the COVID-19 outbreak, it is essential that we get ventilators to Idaho health care providers as rapidly as possible,” said Senator James Risch. “I applaud Representatives Simpson and Fulcher leadership on this issue and look forward to supporting their efforts in the Senate.”

Full text of the letter follows and to view a letter with signatures please click here:

Pocatello Water Dept. Assures Residents Drinking Water is Safe, WPC Dept. Reminds Residents to Only Flush Human Waste & Toilet Paper


(City of Pocatello Press Release, March 23, 2020)

As many of us are stressed over the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Pocatello Water Department is reaffirming residents that the City’s water is safe.

“We are prepared and committed to providing Pocatellans with clean, safe, and reliable water,” said Justin Armstrong, Water Department Superintendent. “Water is crucial in the fight against COVID-19 for both handwashing and keeping the ill hydrated. We will do all we can to keep families healthy, clean, and hydrated.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Additionally, the World Health Organization says “the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies, and based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low.”

Water Department staff are available 24/7 for service calls or water service-related emergencies at 208-234-6181.

Additionally, the City’s Water Pollution Control Department is reminding residents the only things that should ever be flushed down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper.

Toilet paper shortages have gripped the nation during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Department officials say that flushing anything other than the aforementioned things could have disastrous consequences for the City’s sanitary sewer system.

“They may cause blockages in the plumbing of your own home or they may end up downstream causing larger blockages that could affect entire neighborhoods,” said Levi Adams, Water Pollution Control Superintendent. “If you ever use something other than toilet paper, dispose of it in the trash. No one wants to have their sewer backed up when we are already in a stressful situation.”

For example, back in 2017, London experienced a massive, 130-ton sewer blockage composed of flushed wet wipes and cooking fats that were improperly disposed of. According to a National Public Radio report, it was equivalent to “11 double-decker buses.”

City officials encourage all residents to take precautions to protect themselves from novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Additional information on ways to help prevent the spread of the disease can be found at:


City of Pocatello Cancels Advisory Board Meetings Through April 30


(Press Release, March 23, 2020)

Considering the guidance from the State of Idaho and Southeastern Idaho Public Health limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, the City of Pocatello is canceling advisory board meetings through April 30.

As April 30 approaches, City staff will again consult with Southeastern Idaho Public Health to determine if a longer cancellation is warranted.

City officials continue to encourage all citizens to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Staying home when you are sick, except to get medical care
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 secondsAdditional information on ways to help prevent the spread of the disease can be found at: