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Governor Little issues statewide stay-home order, signs extreme emergency declaration

BOISE - Following the guidance of Idaho's public health experts, Governor Brad Little issued a statewide stay-home order Wednesday for all Idahoans.

He also signed an extreme emergency declaration, which allows the state to more effectively increase health care capacity, take steps to reduce and slow coronavirus spread, and take rapid and decisive steps to improve the condition of Idahoans whose job and incomes are being harmed by the pandemic.

"From the get-go, our focus has been to slow the spread of coronavirus to protect our most vulnerable citizens and preserve capacity in our healthcare system," Little said. "And from the beginning, I stated my commitment to making decisions about our response to coronavirus based on science. With confirmed community transmission of coronavirus now occurring in Idaho's most populated areas, we need to take strong measures to ensure our healthcare facilities are not overburdened. I am following the guidance of our public health experts and issuing a statewide stay-home order effective immediately."

The stay-home order requires citizens to self-isolate at home if they can, not just if they are sick. This excludes healthcare, public safety and other essential workers as defined in the order. Those who are high-risk, avoid leaving home. People can leave home to obtain or provide essential services as defined in the order. Employers that do not provide essential services as defined in the order must take all steps necessary for employees to work remotely from home.

Grocery stores, medical facilities, and other essential businesses as defined in the order will remain open. Restaurants across the state are being ordered to close dine-in but drive-thru, pick up, and delivery will still be available. Non-essential businesses and services will close their physical locations. This includes bars, nightclubs, gyms, recreational facilities, entertainment venues, convention centers, hair and nail salons, and others not included in the "essential" category as defined in the order. People must limit public transit unless to provide or obtain essential services. People must limit all discretionary travel. People must limit all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals outside the household. When you go for a walk, run, bike ride, or other outdoor recreation near your home, stay six-feet away from individuals who are not part of your household.

"Our healthcare and public safety workers are putting themselves in harm's way to respond to the coronavirus emergency, and we owe it to them to do our part by following this statewide stay-home order," Little added.

The statewide stay-home order is effective immediately and will remain in effect for 21 days. Little and public health officials will evaluate later whether to extend the order past 21 days.

Little made the announcement at Gowen Field, where he visited with the Idaho National Guard personnel, he recently mobilized to support civil authorities and local jurisdictions during the coronavirus emergency. At the Governor's request, the Guardsmen are prepared to stand up a joint task force to provide mobile testing support, transport commodities, provide facilities, tents or other equipment, and other perform other duties as needed in Idaho's coronavirus response effort. The Idaho Office of Emergency Management, a part of the Idaho Military Division, is the key emergency response planner and coordinator for interagency preparedness in Idaho.

"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," Little said.

The statewide stay-home order was finalized with public health, local officials, and business Wednesday and is available at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/. A listing of essential and non-essential businesses is included there.

View Governor Little's extreme emergency declaration here.

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Orofino, ID 83544
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