One more death was added to the COVID-19 toll Wednesday, along with 54 new cases.

The death was a woman in her 90s in Latah County, which also saw 17 new infections. Lewis County reported two new cases; Clearwater County had three; Idaho County added six and Nez Perce County had 26 new reports.

Whitman County had 26 new positive tests; Garfield County had three; and Asotin County added 10 new cases for a 14-day count of 145, including six hospitalizations and 17 breakthrough cases in October.

Two or possibly three employees of Walla Walla Community College’s 36 employees at Clarkston have chosen to leave their jobs rather than comply with Washington’s Oct. 18 COVID-19 vaccination mandate deadline.

Karl Easttorp, director of marketing and communications for WWCC, said in an email to the Lewiston Tribune on Wednesday that one part-time employee has chosen not to comply with the mandate, one has chosen to retire, and a third has a period of time to comply.

Easttorp said because the vaccination is a condition of employment, the college worked closely with employees to comply.

“WWCC reviewed requests for exemption, balancing compliance with student success, health/safety and the individual situation of each employee,” Easttorp said. “That careful consideration included whether the accommodation would put students or others at increased risk of infection and if the accommodation placed additional burdens on other students, faculty and staff.

“We recognize the impact that the Governor’s vaccine requirements are having throughout our college, though we have an obligation as a state-funded institution to follow the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” Easttorp said.

Across all of WWCC’s locations, 38 employees requested an exemption, Easttorp said, and the total number of people who could not receive some form of temporary accommodation for an exemption request is around 20.

“These individuals have a period of time in which they can elect to be vaccinated,” Easttorp said.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little declared October “Idaho Health Care Worker Appreciation Month” and encouraged all Idahoans to “seek out the health care workers in their lives and communities and show their respect, appreciation and support for the sacrifices health care workers are making to get us through an unprecedented public health crisis.”

Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com or (208) 983-2326.