Idaho Governor Signs Emergency Declaration to be Ready for Coronavirus
UPDATE: The story has been updated after the first case of the coronavirus in Idaho was reported late Friday.
BOISE, Idaho (KLIX)-Gov. Brad Little has signed an Emergency Declaration to insure Idaho is prepared for the coronavirus hours before the first confirmed case of illness was reported late Friday. During a press conference Friday morning with officials from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Gov. Little said at the time Idaho had not had a confirmed case of coronavirus, but said the Emergency Declaration will make sure the Gem State is prepared to respond.
Friday afternoon state health officials reported the first positive test in a person for the coronavirus.
The declaration will make sure federal resources are available to the state when needed, especially protective gear for health care providers and ventilators for potential patients. Gov. Little said the state is ahead of the curve and people should not be alarmed but cautious.
According to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen, the best thing for people to do is wash hands, cover sneezes and coughs, and stay away from people that are sick and if you are sick stay home. Idaho health officials also said 100 people have been tested for the virus so far in the state and all had come back negative.
As to cancellations and closures of events, officials say nothing is being mandated by the state and it is up to individual organizations, including schools, and businesses to follow new federal guidelines for large gatherings. Superintendents of Idaho school districts have to ability to close schools if needed and as necessary.