BOISE — Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday issued a statewide stay-at-home order as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Little announced the order will remain in effect for 21 days.
Idaho has more than 189 confirmed cases of COVID-19 through Thursday spread throughout the state.
The order requires Idaho’s 1.75 million residents to self-isolate at home unless they are health care workers, public safety employees or other “essential workers” such as grocery store employees.
Little said some communities now had community spread, in central Idaho’s Blaine County and highly populated southwestern Idaho, which includes Boise. Community spread means it’s not clear where or from whom a person became infected.
Washington state and Oregon have also issued statewide stay-at-home orders in recent days.
“Given where we are in the biology of this disease, it’s important to do now to get the message out to all of Idaho,” Little said. “We absolutely have to have this take place.”
People won’t be arrested for taking walks if they are five feet (1.5 meters) or more away from others, Little said. Essential businesses — including grocery stores and medical facilities, — will be allowed to remain open. Little said the language of the order will be made public soon.
“If your car breaks down and you can’t get to the grocery store, fixing that car is an essential service,” Little said.