An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Idaho Remains In Phase Four Covid Protocol For Two More Weeks

State of Idaho

Idaho Governor Brad Little said today [Friday] the Gem State will remain in phase four of its coronavirus reopening protocol.

The governor told reporters at a press conference at the Idaho Food Bank in Boise that the state still has too many people hospitalized for the coronavirus.

“However, over the past two weeks, metrics have improved in other areas. We’re seeing downward trends in overall confirmed cases, test positivity rates and emergency department visits of patients with Covid-like illnesses," he said.

Little also announced the state will devote two-and-a-half million dollars of its federal CARES Act pandemic funding to food banks around the state. Karen Vauk, the president of the Idaho Food Bank, which is a statewide non-profit with more than 400 partners around the state, says demand for food has increased markedly during the pandemic.

“The food bank has added community food distributions in 15 different communities each month to supplement our regular programming. Some of these community food distributions have served 1,500 households in the span of just four hours by using a drive-through system," Vauk said. "Seeing the long lines of cars has definitely confirmed that we are experiencing increased food insecurity in our state.”

Little says he’s happy with today’s [Friday’s] announcement that the state’s unemployment rate fell to 5% in July, down eight-tenths of a percent from June. The state Labor Department says about 6,300 more people are working now than before the pandemic began in March.