Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Idaho, US, extend order requiring residents to stay at home, nonessential businesses to close, through April 30.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Boise, Idaho
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  • Pocatello, Idaho
  • Twin Falls, Idaho
  • Sun Valley, Idaho

This alert began 16 Apr 2020 11:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Idaho (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Movement and travel restrictions, business disruptions

Summary
Idaho Governor Brad Little extended an order that requires residents to stay home and nonessential businesses to remain closed through at least April 30, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order, which was originally set to expire April 15, stipulates that residents may only leave their homes to obtain basic goods, attend to a medical issue, care for a person in need, perform outdoor recreational activities while maintaining a proper distance from others, or to go to work at an essential business or service. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, fuel stations, healthcare facilities, and businesses working in security, transport, and critical infrastructure may remain open. Nonessential businesses can operate with their employees working from home. Authorities have also allowed nonessential businesses to maintain minimum basic operations to prepare for a possible reopening in the coming weeks.

Officials in Idaho have also ordered all travelers entering the state to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, unless they are performing essential services or if they live in a bordering state and work at an essential business in Idaho. Gatherings of any size are banned. These requirements are also in force through at least April 30.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the orders on short notice, including mandating residents to shelter in their residences.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Idaho authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO Coronavirus Knowledge Base: www.who.int

Idaho Stay-home Order Extension: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/statewide-stay-home-order/

Idaho COVID-19 Updates: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/