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'Reality is setting in that this is actually happening': Former KTVB reporter shares what life is like in Blaine County

Gov. Little issued a shelter in place order for Blaine County to help combat the spread of coronavirus.

KETCHUM, Idaho — On Thursday afternoon, Idaho Governor Brad Little announced 11 new cases of COVID-19 of the coronavirus strain in Blaine County, bringing the total number of cases to 16. As of Friday afternoon, that number has grown.

Shortly after, county officials announced they would institute a shelter in place order to help stop the spread of the virus.

That order means all residents should stay home unless they need to perform essential activities or going to work to provide essential business and government services.

Shannon Camp, a former reporter with KTVB, now lives in Blaine County with her husband and two-year-old daughter.

For the last week, they have stayed home, but try to get out at least once a day.

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"People are still trying to get outside. Obviously it's a very active community, so people are still outside but [Ketchum] itself is a ghost town," she said. "The mood is eerie. You drive through Ketchum and there are four cars on the street total."

"Last week I would say there were plenty of people that would say, 'Oh, this isn't a big deal, it's just the flu, it's going to pass, it's not going to come here, we live in Sun Valley,' and I think now people are like, 'Oh, wow, this is real.' It's a small town, so people know pretty much who the people are that have tested positive," she said.

RELATED: Shelter-in-place order issued for Blaine County residents amid coronavirus outbreak

"I haven't sensed a lot of fear, but I have definitely sensed that people are taking it seriously now," Camp said. "I think we're preparing for schools not to go back at all this school year." 

Camp says the hardest part right now is the unknown.

"Is this a two-month that we're all going to be dealing with this or the next year or the next couple of years," Camp explained. "I don't think anyone knows how to put a "game plan" in place because we have no end in sight."

Camp says she thinks there was a "cavalier attitude" at the start of the outbreak, but that attitude has shifted, much as it has in Italy.

"I have a good friend in Italy. She basically said, 'Look, this is real, people are dying and it's not our grandparents, it's our parents, and at this point, what they tell you to do is what you need to do.'"

"I think now that there's a county-wide shelter-in-place, it's the best thing that can happen to us because now it's not up to employees to make that difficult decision, it's finally coming from the top down and we all just have to do it."

"I know that we have a lot of non-profits in this town and I know that a lot of people are putting their heads together on how we can keep people afloat during this time, whether it be local restaurants or our local food bank or all of those services that people are going to need once we come out on the other side of this and during this. I know a lot of people are banding together."

"Hopefully we'll be coming out on the other side of this sooner than later and we can all look back on this and it will be somewhat of a bittersweet memory because on the one hand, people are suffering but on the other hand, we're all coming together and showing what we're really made of."

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