Meanwhile, an Idaho consortium of disability groups is offering help to people during pandemic
By Kathy Hedberg Of the Lewiston Tribune • May 12, 2020
There were no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 anywhere in north central Idaho or southeastern Washington over the weekend, according to local health departments.
The Public Health – Idaho North Central District count stands at 69 confirmed cases, nine probable cases and 19 deaths in Nez Perce County, including 16 confirmed cases from Nimiipuu Health; five confirmed cases in Latah County; three in Idaho County; and none in Lewis or Clearwater counties.
Asotin County has listed 18 positive cases of COVID-19 and two deaths; 16 confirmed cases in Whitman County; and none in Garfield County.
A statewide consortium of disability groups launched an ad campaign this weekend targeting Idahoans with disabilities who may be having trouble finding resources to cope with the pandemic.
Vicki Leeper with the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities said Monday the group has received a $430,000 grant, available through September 2021, to assist people with everything from getting access to medical supplies, finding transportation, in-home care and personal protective equipment.
The grant “is to be used to help people with disabilities stay independent and get out of nursing homes, which can be a dangerous place to be,” Leeper said. “What do they need to avoid going into an institution right now?” The grant is especially designed to help people who live in rural areas who may not have access to the internet and online communication.
“So we need them to call us (and tell us) what is your problem, and we’ll figure out how to fill that,” Leeper said.
The federal grant was part of the first disbursement of pandemic-related funds but was not made available to the consortium until recently. On Sunday, the group launched a number of advertisements in local newspapers, radio and television stations to try to reach people with disabilities to let them know the assistance is available.
“We don’t know what the need is,” Leeper said. “What little information we’ve gotten is from consumers about the problems they’ve been up against. Maybe there’s a need out there we don’t even know about. … We’re trying to figure out a way to reach as many people as we can so they will contact us.”
In northern Idaho, people may call the Disability Action Center in Moscow at (208) 833-0523 or search for resources online at silc.idaho.gov.
In other COVID-19 news, the eight branches of the Prairie River Library District have begun to allow loans of items from the patrons’ home library.
Patrons of libraries in Craigmont, Culdesac, Kamiah, Kooskia, Lapwai, Nezperce, Peck and Winchester may request items from their home branch online at valnet.org or by calling their home library and leaving a message. Curbside delivery of materials is by appointment only and each branch has different hours.
In addition, the digital catalog of more than 14,000 e-books and audiobooks is available to be downloaded from home. Patrons may borrow up to five titles at a time for three weeks. All due dates for currently loaned items have been extended through May and people are asked to hold on to their items until the libraries are ready to accept returns.
Hedberg may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 983-2326.