BLAINE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Blaine County Board of County Commissioners strongly urges individuals and groups not to travel outside Blaine County to neighboring counties for casual travel and recreation, hotel stays, shopping and other activities that are not defined as essential under the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare Self-Isolation Order of March 25, 2020. These trips are a violation of the letter and spirit of the order.
In order to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus elsewhere, residents should minimize travel for essential activities and eliminate all non-essential travel. The order permits outdoor recreation with social distancing. If residents want to get outside for exercise, they should do it in Blaine County, not in other counties. The order permits shopping for essential goods and services. Residents are advised to shop for these things in Blaine County, if at all possible, not in other counties, and so on for other activities. Those who are sick must stay in their homes.
The purpose of the order is to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Spread of the coronavirus risks overwhelming our hospitals and health care system. Blaine County residents and now all Idahoans are being directed to self-isolate due to evidence of community spread of the disease and in order to stop it. Travel in and out of the county risks spreading coronavirus further in Idaho.
"It is up to the citizens of Blaine County to do their part to limit the spread of this deadly disease, here in Blaine County, or anywhere else. It is also up to citizens to ease the minds of residents in neighboring counties, who are concerned they are at greater risk of becoming infected due to the high volume of travelers from Blaine County. This can be accomplished by minimizing or eliminating out-of-county travel."
If you must travel for essential purposes, behave as you would in Blaine County: maintain social distancing and all other health sanitary practices at all times; do not gather in groups; and, return home as soon as possible after your outing. Also, remember that businesses may enact their own policies to prevent community spread.
Similarly, anyone traveling into Blaine County from anywhere else must do so only for essential purposes, as the order defines, and must follow social distancing and all other public health and sanitary guidelines issued by the South Central Public Health District. Non-residents travellng here to stay for longer periods are strongly encouraged to self-isolate at their local residence, upon arrival for 14 days.
“We owe it to ourselves and our neighbors to do everything we can to slow the spread of coronavirus,” said Commissioner Angenie McCleary. Commissioner Jacob Greenberg said. “Each of us contributes to the goal of stopping the spread of coronavirus, which affects all of us. We must be smart and do our part to succeed, so we’re able to return to normal life sooner, rather than later.”