Idaho to stay in stage 4 for another 2 weeks, Gov. Little encourages flu shots

Posted at 12:00 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 08:34:50-04

BOISE, Idaho — Governor Brad Little announced during a press conference Thursday Idaho will stay in Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds plan for another two weeks.

Little also said Idahoans need to get flu shots to lighten the burden on Idaho's healthcare system during this flu season. Overall COVID-19 hospital admissions statewide are still too high to move past Stage 4, but Governor Little said progress is being made.

“Statewide, our numbers and metrics are looking pretty good. In fact, even in many of the ‘hot spots’ we are seeing encouraging trends. But that is not a reason to let our guard down. As we approach fall, the opportunity for community spread will increase and we need to ramp up our personal actions,” Governor Little said.

With the cooler weather seasons coming, people will be indoors and sharing physical space more often. Gov. Little encourages everyone to take steps to be safe and protect friends and family.

“These variables threaten our healthcare capacity – the very thing we are trying to protect so that our economic rebound can continue and so our students can learn in their classrooms where they deserve to be,” Governor Little said.

State epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn says the overall number of COVID-19 cases in the Gem State are dropping, with the statewide positivity rate at 8%.

“They have been declining now for several weeks, and very encouragingly, the percent of tests, the PCR tests that are done, these diagnostic tests, percentage of tests that are positive are declining,” Hahn said.

Even though Idaho sees this slight decrease, Little and Hahn fear that with Labor Day and flu season approaching, Idaho will see another spike in COVID-19 positive cases across the state.

“We are concerned that people will be gathering together more, there will be more chances for transmission and we're very concerned whether we will be able to keep going in this downward trend,” Hahn says.

Governor Little encouraged Idahoans to ramp up their personal actions to prevent the spread of coronavirus and the flu, including:

  • Wearing a mask in public
  • Avoiding large gatherings of people, especially indoors
  • Keeping physical distance from others
  • Washing hands and cleaning surfaces regularly
  • Staying home if you’re sick

“I urge Idahoans to get a flu shot and ramp up your personal actions to prevent the spread of both the Coronavirus and the flu,” Little says. “Dropping temperatures will drive people indoors sharing physical space, and more transmissible moments can occur. This presents an opportunity for the spread and threatens our health care capacity.”

Little says close to half a million Idahoan adults are considered at risk of developing severe Coronavirus complications.