Local governments approve emergency declarations for coronavirus readiness

Posted at 12:43 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 14:43:27-04

Ada and Canyon Counties and the associated cities of Boise, Caldwell, Eagle, Garden City, Greenleaf, Kuna, Melba, Meridian, Middleton, Nampa, Notus, Star, and Wilder are making disaster emergency declarations today – following the lead of Idaho Governor Brad Little, who made a similar declaration for the state on Friday.

Elected officials and government agencies in Ada and Canyon Counties have been actively monitoring the spread of Coronavirus throughout the world with the expectation of a potential spread of the virus in our region. The announcement of initial cases of COVID-19 has confirmed the declaration.

The City of Parma will make their declaration later this week.

Local public health and safety agencies, which include health districts, first responders, and emergency management, have been working together to ensure the plans and operations are coordinated and informed by the best information and practices available. The responsibility to stay informed and prepared in the face of uncertainty is a shared one. We are committed to being proactive in our fight against the possible spread of COVID-19 in the community.

The decision to approve disaster emergency declarations is not a result of a dire or immediate need for resources. It is being done now – ahead of any crisis – so communities can proactively pursue additional resources that might be needed to help prevent the community spread of COVID-19 in the weeks and months to come.

These emergency declarations will better position us to coordinate efforts and achieve the primary objective — slowing the rate of any spread in the region. This will allow counties to take additional measures to bolster public health and emergency medical systems, give health professionals and governments time to prepare, spread out the impact on hospitals, and provide more time for the best medical countermeasures to be determined and implemented to protect those most at risk in local communities.

Each agency and jurisdiction will approve its own individual emergency declaration, ensuring each public official is able to exercise emergency powers to protect access to the public officials to exercise emergency powers to preserve life, property, and public health following a disaster.

“Our communities are stronger when we face challenges together,” said Kendra Kenyon, Chairperson of the Ada County Board of Commissioners. “While we work together as public officials to manage this health emergency, we need everyone to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19: wash your hands well; stay home and away from other people if you are sick; avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or respiratory symptoms; frequently clean and disinfect surfaces frequently you touch; sneeze into a tissue or your elbow; and avoid touching your face.”

Anyone with questions related to COVID-19 is encouraged to call the following call centers: Southwest District Health: (208) 455-5411. The call center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central District Health: 208-321-2222. The call center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Updated information can also be found by visiting