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Coronavirus Coverage

Governor Little urges personal responsibility to slow COVID-19 spread

Governor Little presser Oct 15 Stage 4

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Governor Brad Little hosted a press conference updating Idahoans on COVID-19 Thursday.

You can watch it below.

Idaho has been under Stage 4 of Idaho Rebounds since June 13. Under Stage 4, all Idaho businesses are open while protocols are followed to minimize transmission risk.

As COVID-19 cases increase in communities across Idaho, Governor 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,” Governor 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.”

Governor Little said 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,” Governor 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.”

The governor said 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.

Vulnerable Idahoans can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.Resume unrestricted staffing of worksites but practice physical distancing, personal protections and sanitation for protection of workers, and continue to encourage telework when feasible.Visits to senior living facilities and congregate facilities (e.g. jails and corrections) can resume. Those who interact with residents and patients must be diligent regarding hygiene and physical distancing.
Gatherings, both public and private, of more than 50 people, where appropriate physical distancing and precautionary measures are observed can occur. Find gatherings guidance here.Special accommodations for employees who are considered vulnerable should be made.Nightclubs may operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate.
Non-essential travel continues to locations that allow it and do not have ongoing transmission (individuals should adhere to state and CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel).All open businesses continue to follow plans.Large venues (e.g. sporting venues) can operate under limited physical distancing protocols.
Non-essential travel continues to locations that allow it and do not have ongoing transmission (employers should adhere to state and CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel).

Business Protocols for Opening — Businesses opening their doors in various stages of the Idaho Rebound plan should have operational plans in place to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. For business protocols available, click here.

Every two weeks: re-evaluation against criteria to determine feasibility to move from one stage to the next

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