BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho on Wednesday adopted stricter guidelines for social interaction to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
Republican Gov. Brad Little announced the state was adopting federal guidelines that include avoiding social gathering of more than 10 people.
The guidelines also call for not eating or drinking in bars, restaurants and food courts, but to use drive-thru or pickup options.
Little also recommends avoiding discretionary travel and shopping.
Through the end of March, Idahoans are encouraged to:
- Do not visit nursing homes, retirement homes, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance, but still to find ways to connect with loved ones in these facilities, such as phone, text, Facetime, and others
- Avoid discretionary travel
- Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people
- Continue to practice good hygiene
- Work from home whenever possible – UNLESS you work in a critical infrastructure industry, such as healthcare, medicine and food supply
- Take advantage of the many drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for food. Businesses are stepping up to make these options even more available than before, in order to serve customers and keep people working.
“These are recommendations to keep you and your neighbors healthy,” Governor Little said. “If you are in the category of our vulnerable population – the elderly or health-compromised – stay home and away from other people for the next few weeks. Idahoans need to be there for each other and reach out to neighbors and family members who need support.”
The Governor encourages school districts to follow the latest CDC guidelines for school closures when considering whether to close schools for a period of time.
“I am not mandating categorical closures of schools and other establishments at this time. Local leaders and operators of those facilities will make their own judgment calls about whether to do that,” Governor Little added. “Idaho is a very diverse and expansive state. A solution for one area might not be the solution for another part of the state.”
Idaho health officials say nine people in Idaho have tested positive for COVID-19.
Little said mandatory measures could eventually be put in place depending on the extent of the virus outbreak.