Gov. Little issues stay-at-home order for entire state

‘Leave home only to obtain essential services’

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

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.”

Gov. Brad Little give a live streamed press
conference in Boise on Wednesday, March 25.
Photo courtesy Facebook.

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:

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.”

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