By Ben Olson
Gov. Brad Little issued a “stay-at-home” order for the enter state of Idaho at a press conference in Boise on Wednesday, March 25.
“Today I will be issuing a statewide stay-at-home order for all of Idaho,” Little said at the press conference. “The statewide stay-home order is in effect immediately and will remain in effect for 21 days.”
Little ordered all Idaho citizens to self-isolate at home if they can, not just if they are sick. He said officials will reevaluate the order in two weeks.
“Leave home only to obtain essential services,” Little said. “If you’re high risk, avoid leaving home. Employers that do not provide essential services must make steps necessary to work from home. Grocery stores, medical facilities – these are all essential businesses. Restaurants across the state are ordered to close dine-in, but drive through and pickup orders are still available.”
Nonessential businesses will include bars, nightclubs, gyms, recreational facilities and others not included in the essential category. A full list has been posted to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s dedicated COVID-19 website here: coronavirus.idaho.gov.
Blaine County in southern Idaho issued a stay-at-home order on Thursday, March 19 after a spike in positive test results for coronavirus. This marks the first time Gov. Little has issued a statewide stay-at-home order since the coronavirus outbreak.
Little also activated the Idaho National Guard to help support civil authorities and local municipalities if it is needed.
“Given the spread of coronavirus in Idaho, today I’m signing a new extreme emergency declaration,” Little said. “Our state and our country are going through difficult times. The state and me as your governor need to be able to react quickly and effectively to combat the growing emergency to proect you and your neighbors.”
Little said the extreme emergency declaration will allow the state to more effectively increase health care capacity, as well as to “take steps to reduce or slow the spread of the virus so as few Idahoans are infected as possible and the health care system is not overwhelmed. [It allows for] rapid and decisive steps to improve the conditions of Idahoans whose jobs and incomes are being harmed by the pandemic. I will exercise these powers carefully and honestly, with the goal to protect the citizens of Idaho.”
When asked to clarify what essential businesses are, Little said it includes anyone “that serves in the food chain,” as well as anybody in the public safety area. He said to consult the full essential business list for further clarification.
“I’m proud of Idaho and the way we support and love our neighbors,” Little said. “My fellow Idahoans, we will get through this together, as long as we play an active part in fighting the spread of coronavirus.”
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal