BOISE – As COVID-19 cases increase in communities across Idaho, Gov. Brad Little urged Idahoans to ramp up personal actions to slow the spread of the virus to protect lives and our economic prosperity.

“Our personal actions work better to slow the spread of coronavirus than anything else. Our personal actions are free of cost and a minor sacrifice relative to the rewards,” Little said. “This is about personal responsibility – something Idaho is all about. Wear a mask. Watch your distance from others. Wash your hands. Do these things so our kids can stay in school, our loved ones stay safe, and our economy can continue to prosper.”

Little emphasized the direct connection between rising COVID-19 case counts in communities and strain on healthcare facilities. Increased community spread results in more healthcare workers getting sick and more hospitalized Idahoans, impacting Idahoans’ access to ordinary essential health care.

“This has been the goal of our COVID-19 response from the beginning – slow the spread of the virus so you and your family do not lose access to critical care for ordinary health care, a situation that damages lives and our economy,” Little said.

The greatest rates of spread are occurring in eastern Idaho. Fourteen hospitals in southern and southeastern Idaho issued a joint statement today saying in part:

“Hospitals throughout the region are experiencing the highest number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 ever seen throughout the pandemic. This is placing a significant strain on hospital resources. Healthcare workers are the most valuable asset in the healthcare system, even more so than bed availability...We are asking our communities to practice the personal responsibility behaviors that science has indicated will reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as other infectious illnesses such as influenza. The choices our residents make have a direct impact on whether we have the human resources necessary to care for our community.”

Wearing a mask remains the most effective way to protect yourself and others. Idahoans are urged to practice safe measures not just in public but also in their close circle of family and friends. 

Idaho will continue to evaluate statewide metrics every two weeks to determine if the state will move out of stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds plan.

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