IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) –– During a visit to Idaho on Thursday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s Global Health Ambassador, met with Gov. Brad Little, Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee and state and regional leaders to discuss ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Idaho.
Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, led a physically distanced roundtable discussion and took questions from the group at Melaleuca headquarters in Idaho Falls.
Her visit was to reinforce public health guidelines and address a recent statewide spike in COVID-19 cases.
The White House coronavirus task force coordinator has been traveling across the country in recent weeks, meeting with state and local officials as a fall COVID-19 surge hits all regions of the country.
Satterlee represented all public higher education institutions in the State.
“Dr. Birx emphasized that our safety guidelines and campus operations are on target,” Satterlee said. “She also reiterated that a mask mandate works, and that ties in directly with our campus efforts, and the efforts of all other public higher education institutions in Idaho.”
President Satterlee also discussed the logistics of eventual vaccine distribution with Dr. Birx and how ISU’s health sciences expertise can be deployed to assist in the State of Idaho’s planned vaccination program.
Cases of COVID-19 have been surging in Idaho where there is not a statewide mask mandate. The task force has recommended “statewide policies for mitigation efforts” in Idaho to have people use face coverings, adhere to strict social distancing and have limits on occupancy.
On Monday, Little announced Idaho will re-enter Stage 3 of the Idaho Rebound plan, with a few changes. This plan calls for a limit on indoor gatherings of 50 people or less, and limits outdoor gathering to 25% capacity.