Gov. Brad Little to end Idaho's public health emergency in April

Gov. Brad Little
Posted at 2:25 PM, Mar 08, 2022

Idaho's public health emergency will end April 15, Gov. Brad Little announced Tuesday.

The emergency, which has been active since the start of the pandemic, supported Federal Emergency Management Association costs for distribution of critical medical supplies, medical staffing, National Guard support, vaccine distribution and more, according to a news release from Little's office. FEMA covered $257 million in pandemic-related costs since March 2020 that would have otherwise come out of the state's budget, according to Little.

Little clarified the emergency declaration does not violate rights or lock down Idaho.

Read Little's full statement here:

I kept Idaho open, banned vaccine mandates, never issued mandates for vaccines or masks, and successfully challenged Biden’s overreaching vaccine mandates in court.

The emergency declaration served as an administrative function to recoup FEMA dollars for a variety of needs throughout Idaho. The emergency declaration never violated or restricted any rights of Idahoans, never put Idaho on lockdown, and never allowed for mandates for masks or vaccines. These are the facts.

Without the emergency declaration we would not be able to provide historic tax relief, a step that’s even more important now as gas prices and inflation soar. Without the emergency declaration, Idaho would not be the state with the strongest economy in the nation.

We’re hopeful the recent decrease in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths means we are on a downward trend with the pandemic. For weeks, we have been closely examining the needs within Idaho’s healthcare system with an eye toward ending the public health emergency declaration as soon as possible. The April 15 timeframe provides an important bridge for hospitals and other healthcare providers to plan for the transition.

I want to thank Idahoans, especially our medical community, first responders, public health officials, and National Guard volunteers for helping us reach this positive milestone.