TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Gov. Brad Little says Idaho must remain in Stage-2 COVID-19 restrictions while asking citizens to take on the personal responsibility to help slow the spread of the virus before the state reaches a point where hospitals begin turning patients away.

During a press conference at noon Thursday, Gov. Little said the virus was the leading cause of death in November and is now the third leading cause of death this year. The governor said that health care organizations across the state say Idaho is nearing a "crisis standards of care," essentially health care facilities may not be able to treat everyone who seeks out help. “If the State of Idaho must activate the Crisis Standards of Care, you or someone you love may be turned away from the hospital or given a lower standard of care because we simply may not have enough beds, critical care doctors, nurses, and technicians to handle the number of COVID-19 patients in need of care. Hospitals are telling us the need to activate Crisis Standards of Care will arrive in Idaho if individual Idahoans do not make the choice to reverse the trend in our rising COVID-19 cases,” Governor Little said during the press conference.

But, he told reporters that it depends where you are in the state as some areas are closer to crisis standards of care than other areas; he stopped short of giving a timeline. He said ultimately the goal is to get hospital capacity up and transmission rates down.

Early Thursday morning the South Central Public Health District released the fatality numbers for COVID-19 within the eight county region. COVID-19 related deaths in November more than doubled in November with 74 people who died, while in October 31 people died. For more detailed information hit this LINK.

Stage-2 Restrictions are as follows:

  • Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. This does not pertain to religious or political expression. Physical distancing is required.
  • At-risk Idahoans should self-isolate.
  • All Idahoans are encouraged to telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations.
  • Masks are required at long-term care facilities.
  • Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants continue to operate with seating only.