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Our View: Cheers and Jeers to staying home, flushing what shouldn't be flushed and Magic Valley dairies
OUR VIEW

Our View: Cheers and Jeers to staying home, flushing what shouldn't be flushed and Magic Valley dairies

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Cheer

Cheers to staying home. It’s working.

Last week, the Gem State reported 4,164 COVID-19 test results from Monday through Friday, with 663 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, for a positive percentage of 15.9%.

But those figures dropped in every category this week: 2,769 test results, 287 new cases, 10.4% positive rate. That amounts to a 56.7% reduction in the number of new cases on weekdays when all seven health districts report cases consistently.

“It’s not perfect, but we have really flattened the curve,” Gov. Brad Little said on Idaho Public Television. “… We believe that the good work that everybody in the state of Idaho is doing is starting to yield dividends, which is less people getting sick, and most importantly fewer people dying.”

Jeer

Jeers to flushing weird stuff down the toilet. A shirt, really? That’s what a Heyburn wastewater treatment plant worker says he found had been flushed down some resident’s toilet. The shirt, along with thousands of so-called “flushable” wipes are clogging up sewers across the Magic Valley. The shirt ended up tangled in a pump. And the wipes, which don’t break down like toilet paper does, are also a problem for the pumps, which cost thousands of dollars to replace.

“I understand that people like to use the wipes because they make them feel clean, but if people want to use them, they shouldn’t flush them. They should just throw them in the trash,” said Brian Vail, Heyburn’s water and wastewater supervisor.

Cheer

Cheers to dairymen. Or at least, hang in there.

Many Magic Valley dairy farmers, and farmers across the U.S., had to dump milk mostly because coronavirus-caused restaurant closures have decimated dairy demand. Restaurants use huge amounts of cheese, butter and cream, and even though sales have increased at grocery stores, that bump isn’t nearly enough to make up the difference. About a third of processed milk products go to restaurants.

“We just cannot consume the amount of dairy at home that we did in the foodservice and restaurant industry,” said James Carr, director of west coast dairy for FCStone. “That’s a tremendous amount of demand just disappearing.”

With dairy prices so low, we know many Magic Valley dairies are hanging on by a thread. They won’t last many more weeks of this. We’re cheering for them, and hoping things turn around soon.

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