Idaho Governor Brad Little has moved his state back to stage two of the state’s Idaho Rebounds protocol. Little cited increasing numbers of cases in many of the state’s hospitals and the growing fatigue among health care workers.
“It means gatherings of more than 10 people, indoor or outdoor, are prohibited. This does not pertain to religious or political expression. It means at-risk Idahoans should self-isolate. It means all Idahoans are encouraged to telework whenever possible and feasible. It means masks continue to be required at long-term care facilities," the governor said.
Little says the move does not mean businesses, schools or churches will be required to close.
Idaho is one of the hottest spots in the nation for the coronavirus. This week the Gem State has set one-day records for confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
When asked about a statewide mask mandate, Little said about half of Idaho is already under locally-imposed mandates. In Kootenai County, that includes Coeur d'Alene, but not Post Falls. He said he preferred to promote the use of masks instead and preach the message of personal responsibility.
The governor also announced that he’s calling up 100 members of the state’s National Guard to expand the state’s health care capacity. He says the military members will perform basic health care functions, such as administering Covid tests.
Idaho spent most of the summer in its coronavirus recovery stage four, but has taken two steps back in the last three weeks due to the fall Covid surge.
The governor continued to promote masks and physical distancing and pleaded with people to limit the size of their holiday gatherings. He urged people to connect with loved ones, but to take measures to make them safe gatherings.