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Boise Mayor McLean closes all city buildings, announces state of emergency due to coronavirus concerns

The Boise Airport, Boise parks, police and fire departments will remain open while other city buildings close for an undermined amount of time.

BOISE, Idaho — Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announced at Boise City Hall Monday afternoon what the city is doing to ready for a coronavirus outbreak, which now includes closing down city facilities, like City Hall and libraries.

The mayor said it is currently "wait and see" for how long city buildings will be closed. City parks and the Boise Airport will remain open.

"Starting tomorrow, for the interests for public health, and truly so we can then better serve the community through this, effective Tuesday morning, public access to all city facilities, except the airport, will cease until further notice," McLean announced.

Mayor McLean clarified that all police and fire department services will not be affected.

For now, there is no call from the Mayor's office to close restaurants and bars. 

There are currently five confirmed cases of the COVID-19 strain in Idaho, two of which are in Ada County.

Throughout the weekend, Treasure Valley stores saw certain items fly off the shelves. Items like toilet paper. 

Mayor McLean says there is no reason to panic.

"Just ask everyone not to panic. We all need toilet paper, we all need to have food on shelves. If you are in a store and you see something and you know that you've got some at home and there is not much left, save it for someone else," McLean said.

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"We want at the end of this to know, as individuals and as a community, that we did was right and so we ought to be thinking about that, day by day, minute by minute," Mayor McLean said, "as we're getting ready for something that is scary to many of us."

The list of closed city facilities includes:

  • City Hall
  • City Hall West
  • Boise Public Library facilities, including the Main Library and each branch library
  • Fort Boise, including the Dick Eardley Senior Center (Meals on Wheels meals will still be provided through curbside pick-up service)
  • School-based Community Centers
  • Idaho IceWorld
  • Zoo Boise
  • Quail Hollow and Warm Springs Golf Courses

RELATED: List of schools, events closed or canceled in Idaho due to the coronavirus

All Parks and Recreation events and activities, all library and Arts & History programs and events, and all open houses, town halls, etc. are canceled until further notice, according to the city.

The city will also suspend issuing special event permits for the next two months. Mayor McLean urges residents to postpone any event that will have 50 or more people in attendance.

"I just ask everyone not to panic. We all need toilet paper. We all need to have food on our shelves," she said. "If you're in a store, and you see something and you know you really got some at home, and there's not much left, safe it for someone else."

As of Monday, 270 people have been tested in Idaho at state and private labs. Thirty-one people are still being monitored.

This is a developing story and this article will be updated when further information is made available.

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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