BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. Brad Little says there are too many coronavirus infections for him to lift additional restrictions, and the state will remain in the fourth and final stage of his plan to reopen during the pandemic.
Little also said Thursday he’s moving the state to a regional response system.
He says that will allow the state’s seven local health districts to evaluate conditions in their areas and decide on restrictions.
Stage 4 was originally scheduled to expire Saturday. It allows gatherings of more than 50 people as long as precautions are taken.
Idaho did not meet the epidemiologic and healthcare criteria to advance past Stage 4. The number of reported cases from June 10-25 trended upward instead of downward, the percent of positive tests from June 8-21 trended upward instead of downward, and the average percent positive for the prior 14-day period was greater than 5-percent at 5.12-percent. In addition, the number of healthcare workers reported with COVID-19 from June 10-23 trended upward, and the average number of healthcare workers reported having COVID-19 per day was greater than the standard of 2.
Governor Little urged Idahoans not to let their guard down.
“The goal all along has been to ensure our hospitals aren’t overrun with people seriously ill from complications of this highly contagious respiratory disease. You can engage in the economy, safely go back to work, and safely receive care from your medical provider, but you must do so while practicing the proven measures to fight the spread of coronavirus,” Governor Little added.
Idahoans are urged to:
- Wear protective face coverings in public.
- Keep physical distance of at least 6-feet from others outside your household.
- Wash hands and surfaces regularly.
- And stay home if you are sick.
On Wednesday, Idaho officials reported 243 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total confirmed and probable cases to 4,645.
That is the most the state has ever reported on one day.