BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – UPDATE 3/26/20: Governor Brad Little has released a list of what classifies as an essential service. You can view that list HERE.
ORIGINAL: Effective immediately, Gov. Brad Little has issued a statewide stay-at-home order as the coronavirus continues to spread.
You can view the statewide stay-home order HERE.
Little announced the order Wednesday, saying it would remain in effect for 21 days.
Idaho has more than 99 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, spread throughout the state.
"A stay home orders citizens to self isolate at home, if you can, not just if you're sick," Little said.
Little said some communities now had community spread, those areas being in central Idaho's Blaine County and highly populated southwestern Idaho, which includes Boise. Community spread means it's not clear where or from whom a person became infected.
"When you have community spread, you have to go the next level, and that's what we're doing," Little said.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The governor also issued a new "extreme emergency" declaration for the state, a step he said would allow him to take additional steps to expand the capacity of Idaho's health care system.
"We are doing everything at the appropriate time," Little said of the stay-at-home order. "We are all in this together."
Washington state and Oregon have also issued statewide stay-at-home orders in recent days.
"Given where we are in the biology of this disease, it's important to do now to get the message out to all of Idaho," Little said. "We absolutely have to have this take place."
People won't be arrested for taking walks if they are five feet or more away from others, Little said. Essential businesses - including grocery stores and medical facilities, - will be allowed to remain open. Little said the language of the order will be made public soon.
"If your car breaks down and you can't get to the grocery store, fixing that car is an essential service," Little said.
You can watch Gov. Little's press conference below.
"We are all in this together, and we all must do our part," Governor Little said. “We will get through this together as long as we all play an active part in fighting the spread of coronavirus. I am proud of Idaho and the way we support and love our neighbors. Let’s keep it up."
You can view Governor Little’s extreme emergency declaration here.