BOISE, Idaho — Governor Brad Little announced there are now 23 cases of COVID-19 in Idaho, 16 of which are in Blaine County. On Thursday, a press release from the Department of Health and Welfare said there was the first case of community spread in Blaine County.
Two of the new cases are healthcare workers. According to Governor Little, Blaine County is now facing a shelter-in-place order.
Shelter in place means everyone should stay home unless they need to perform essential activities or go to work to provide essential business and government services.
People may still go to the grocery store, pick up food to go at restaurants and recreate outside, provided they following social distancing practices. This IS NOT a time to panic and hoard supplies.
This order identifies a wide range of businesses activities that may still take place. Essential businesses will stay open:
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
- Laundromats and dry cleaners
There are twelve new cases reported in Blaine County. Six people are male, one in his 30's, four in their 40's and one in his 50's. The other six are female, one under the age of 20, two in their 30's, two in their 50's and one in her 70's.
One person's home state is not Idaho. That person has gone back to their home state and the numbers on the Department of Health and Welfare's website shows 16 in Blaine County, as that person's home state is taking over the investigation.
My office and members of my Coronavirus Working Group are fully engaged with the South Central Public Health District, Blaine County Commissioners, and mayors in that area to ensure a strong response is in place. Our number one priority is to slow the spread of the virus in that community and outside of it. To ensure that happens, the director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will issue an isolation order for residents in the area. We are still working on the details, and residents will still have essential services available to them, such as access to grocery stores and, of course, healthcare.
I am firm in my commitment to making decisions in our coronavirus planning and response based on science, not fear. Every step of the way, we have made decisions based on the best information and guidance from the CDC and our nation’s leaders, and we will continue to do so.
I urge everyone to be even more vigilant of the preventative measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. And most of all, I continue to urge Idahoans to take care of each other. Be mindful of our actions. Find someone you can help. We will get through this together.
Twin Falls County currently has one case. That case was announced Wednesday, March 19.
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean shut down dining rooms of restaurants Thursday, but you can still support local restaurants by ordering delivery or by getting take out.
You can stay up to date on the total coronavirus numbers in Idaho here.