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Idaho governor issues statewide stay-at-home order, signs 'extreme emergency declaration'

"We will get through this together as long as we play an active part in fighting coronavirus," Gov. Brad Little said.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has issued a stay-at-home order for all of Idaho, requiring everyone in the state to self-isolate at home if possible. The order applies to all citizens, not just those who are sick.

Healthcare workers, public safety workers, and other "essential" workers may still go to work, and people will be allowed to leave their homes to obtain or provide essential services.

Little also ordered the closure of all dine-in restaurants in the state, although drive-through and delivery will still be allowed. "Non-essential" businesses like gyms, bars, salons and convention centers must close. Childcare, auto repair shops, grocery stores, and healthcare facilities can remain open. 

"We all must do our part. I am proud of Idaho and the way we support and love our neighbors," the governor said in his address from Gowen Field Wednesday afternoon. "My fellow Idahoans, we will get through this together as long as we play an active part in fighting coronavirus."

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Employers that do not provide essential services must take steps to let workers work from home, according to the order. Residents have been instructed to limit discretionary travel and any gatherings with people outside their household. 

People will still be allowed to go for a walk or bike ride, or get outdoors, Little said, but must stay at least six feet away from anyone who is not a member of their household.

The announcement came after health officials confirmed community spread of coronavirus in both Blaine and Ada counties. 

"When you have community spread, you have to go to the next level, and that's what we're doing," Little said.

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The stay-at-home order will remain in place for 21 days, the governor said, and will be evaluated at the end of that term to see whether it will be extended.

Read the full order here

Little also signed an "extreme emergency declaration" and mobilized the Idaho National Guard to support civil authorities. The role of the National Guard in the outbreak will be determined as needed, the governor said. 

Watch the governor's full news conference in the video player below:

"It could be commodity transportation, it could be assisting a local community if their community gets overwhelmed," he said. "It's all relative to what happens going forward. This extreme declaration that I did today just ramps us up to the next level."

Little stopped short of outlining any citations or criminal charges that could be leveled against people who violate the stay-home order, saying he hopes "peer pressure from the communities" will help convince people that self-isolating is the right thing to do for public safety.

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"Our goal isn't to arrest people, it's to keep Idahoans safe by maintaining this stay-home order," he said. 

More details about the stay-home order will be released later Wednesday on the state's official coronavirus website.Check KTVB.COM for updates or download the KTVB app to get push notifications for significant updates. 

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