Local news. Locally owned.
We put readers first.

Little to call up National Guard, moves Idaho back to modified Stage 2

Regence
COVID-19 Idaho

Idaho Governor Brad Little took additional steps Friday as the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the state continues to rise.

“We are in the middle of an unprecedented and dangerous time in our state’s history,” Little said. “Thousands of our fellow Idahoans of all ages have been hospitalized and suffered immensely because of COVID.”

The governor said he would call up members of the Idaho National Guard to provide support to Idaho’s hospitals. He also moved the state back to a modified Stage Two in the reopening plan.

“The national guard is already ready to assist with emergencies and natural disasters,” he said. “These heroes will now help us respond to coronavirus.”

[Twice as many options: BoiseDev delivery & takeout guide]

- Story continues below -
116 & West
landproDATA

One-hundred guardsmen will be called up to help with healthcare. Guard members will help with tasks like screening, mobile testing and logistical support.

“Our Coronavirus response has been protecting our loved ones from this damaging disease and protecting our healthcare system,” he said. “Our healthcare facilities will discontinue all but the most essential services, and it impacts all of us, whether we have COVID or not.”

Little said hospitals will have to start rationing care in coming weeks.

“This is unacceptable, and more must be done.”

BoiseDev FIRST members made this story possible. If you aren’t already a member, sign up now to get our daily scoop sheet in your inbox, and help support independent journalism in Boise.

Move back to modified Stage Two

The state will move back to a modified Stage Two. This means:

  • Gatherings of more than 10 people, indoors or outdoors are prohibited – except for schools, religious gatherings, businesses or political events.
  • Those who are sick should self isolate.
  • Telework is encouraged.
  • Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants can operate, but only if patrons are seated.

“This does not mean Idaho’s economy is on lockdown. However, all individuals and businesses should follow protocols to minimize transmission.”

Little said businesses do not need to close. When asked how the gathering limits apply to businesses, he didn’t provide clarity beyond saying businesses could remain open.

- Story continues below -
116 & West
landproDATA

The governor did not implement a statewide mask mandate, again saying he preferred local officials to make those decisions. Officials in many areas of the state with strained resources declined to do so, and some elected officials rolled back previous mandates. He said Idahoans should limit contact with others and stick to physical distancing.

“It spreads by spraying droplets from your mouths to others,” Little said. “Masks not only protect others but protect you. It’s a fact. Half of Idaho is under a mask order, but we are seeing issues with compliance. This comes down to personal responsibility. Please wear a mask when you are not around someone in your household.”

Little said Idahoans should not gather in groups outside of their household for Thanksgiving celebrations.

He said that transmission is not happening in classrooms, and said schools will remain open. He said closing schools can mean healtchare workers would have to stay home with children instead of working.

Two weeks ago, Little moved the state back to Stage Three, and implemented some limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

[‘Sobering’: Boise City Council gets update on COVID-19 status]

Deaths, hospitalizations rise

The moves come as the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 continues to rise. According to data compiled by the New York Times, the 7-day rolling average of the number of deaths per day stands at 11 – the highest of any point since the pandemic began impacting Idaho in March.

Just more than half of all the people who have died in Idaho since the pandemic started were residents of nursing homes. Through October 24th, about 1,000 more Idahoans died than in an average year – about 12% higher than usual. That includes deaths of any cause.

The strain on Idaho’s healthcare resources continues to rise, with the highest number of COVID-positive patients in hospitals since the pandemic began. Yesterday, St. Luke’s Health System, the state’s largest, said it would pause some types of elective surgeries starting next week. The move impacts St. Luke’s facilities in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and Twin Falls.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

COVID spreads in Boise homeless shelters: one Boise Rescue Mission guest and staffer dead

Eight months after Idaho announced it’s first case of COVID-19, the pandemic is hitting Boise’s homeless community harder than ever.  In the past two weeks,...

‘I have never, ever felt this ill:’ Ahlquist, family contract COVID-19

By Nicole Camarda / Idaho News 6 Crush The Curve co-founder Tommy Ahlquist brought the first public COVID-19 tests to Idaho last spring. Now he...

Bogus Basin will open for pass holders this weekend

Bogus Basin will open this Friday for the 2020-221 ski season, and because of enough snowfall, all ten lifts will be available.  “This has been...

City of McCall sends out COVID-19 advisory ahead of the holiday

The City of McCall sent out a COVID-19 advisory ahead of the holiday weekend. McCall has collaborated with Cascade Medical Center, St. Luke’s McCall, McCall...

Popular

You asked: What’s the large Christmas display at Expo Idaho for?

A new Christmas experience will open at Expo Idaho this year - just in time for a socially distanced holiday season. Christmas in Color set...

COVID spreads in Boise homeless shelters: one Boise Rescue Mission guest and staffer dead

Eight months after Idaho announced it’s first case of COVID-19, the pandemic is hitting Boise’s homeless community harder than ever.  In the past two weeks,...

Over the leftovers? Check out our takeout & delivery guide with more new options!

We had snow this week - and hopefully lots of Thanksgiving goodies. But if you're ready for something different - our Boise and Meridian...

In-N-Out Burger sets plan for Boise, but it will be a while still

It’s the question we get more than just about any other inquiry: When will the Boise area get an In-N-Out Burger? The California-based chain of...

Related

Trident, state outline McCall land ideas to Land Board; Community groups, businesses testify in opposition

The Idaho Land Board formally heard about two proposals for a 44-square-mile piece of land in the McCall area. BoiseDev outlined the two...

With hospitalizations surging, Little moves Idaho back to Stage Three

Idaho will move back to Stage Three of its reopening plan, Gov. Brad Little announced Monday. "Idaho is at a critical juncture," Little said. "This...

Little signs emergency COVID-19 immunity law

A bill coming out of the special session of the Idaho Legislature limiting liability for COVID-19 is now in effect. The bill would temporarily make...

Deep Dive: What’s the future of the Payette Lake region? Huge land swap proposal spurs action

The future of a large portion of Valley County is at play, with a proposal to transfer more than 28,000 acres of land from...
SERVPRO Certified

Latest

Get Local: Ideas on where and how to shop local this season

NEWS ANALYSIS Every holiday season, we hear about the importance of shopping local. This year, however, shopping Treasure Valley businesses is vital to the survival...

Over the leftovers? Check out our takeout & delivery guide with more new options!

We had snow this week - and hopefully lots of Thanksgiving goodies. But if you're ready for something different - our Boise and Meridian...

COVID spreads in Boise homeless shelters: one Boise Rescue Mission guest and staffer dead

Eight months after Idaho announced it’s first case of COVID-19, the pandemic is hitting Boise’s homeless community harder than ever.  In the past two weeks,...

Boise-based Norco purchased Utah-based automation & welding company

By Idaho Press staff Norco, a large, privately owned welding, safety, medical, and gas supplier, announced in a press release the acquisition of Arc Services...

‘I have never, ever felt this ill:’ Ahlquist, family contract COVID-19

By Nicole Camarda / Idaho News 6 Crush The Curve co-founder Tommy Ahlquist brought the first public COVID-19 tests to Idaho last spring. Now he...

Popular old Vista Ave. cafe reopens in new Boise mall-area location

After starting as a cafe on Vista, converting to a cafeteria at MK Plaza and a catering company out of a call center, Rooster's...