BOISE — Following Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s shelter-in-place order in response to novel coronavirus COVID-19 on Monday, Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued a similar "Stay Home" order for the state of Idaho on Wednesday.
Little also signed a declaration of "extreme emergency," allowing the state to more effectively expand healthcare capacity, take steps to reduce and slow the spread of the virus and take rapid steps to ease financial burdens caused by the pandemic.
“From the get-go, our focus has been to slow the spread of coronavirus to protect our most vulnerable citizens and preserve capacity in our healthcare system,” Little said. “And from the beginning, I stated my commitment to making decisions about our response to coronavirus based on science. With confirmed community transmission of coronavirus now occurring in Idaho’s most populated areas, we need to take strong measures to ensure our healthcare facilities are not overburdened. I am following the guidance of our public health experts and issuing a statewide stay-home order effective immediately.”
Little outlined the order, which requires citizens to self-isolate if possible, instead of just those who are sick. In a notice issued following the order, Little outlined guidance for the order:
- All Idaho residents must self-isolate and stay home, working from home if possible unless working for an essential business.
- Residents are allowed to obtain or provide essential services
- People over age 65 and/or health-compromised should avoid leaving their homes
- Non-essential business must take necessary steps to enable work from home
- Grocery stores, healthcare facilities, gas stations, pharmacies essential government offices, laundromats and financial institutions are on the list of essential businesses allowed to remain open. Restaurants may only operate drive-thru, carryout or delivery service.
- Non-essential facilities and services, including bars, nightclubs, indoor gyms, recreational facilities and other entertainment venues are among those closed by the order
- Public transit may only operate to access or provide essential services
- All non-essential travel must cease
- Limit all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals outside the household
- Outdoor activity near your home is allowed, provided a distance of six feet is maintained from others not in your household
The guidelines encourage hand washing, cleaning high-touch surfaces and covering coughs and sneezes. It discourages shaking hands with others.