BOISE, Idaho — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Idaho has more than doubled in the past day to 23 cases in five counties. A week ago, there were no confirmed cases in the state.
Of the current 23 cases, 16 are in Blaine County. And for the first time, health officials confirmed an Idaho case that does not appear to be linked to travel out of the state. Two of the cases are healthcare workers.
For that reason, a shelter-in-place order is being issued for Blaine County.
With that community spread, and now 16 cases of COVID-19, there is now a shelter-in-place order announced Thursday by Blaine County and its cities, which include Bellevue, Carey, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley.
It was made official in a tweet Thursday evening. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is asking that the people of Blaine County stay home, except for essential business. If you do need to go out, you should return home as soon as your business is completed.
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Businesses that will remain open include:
- Grocery stores
- Gas Stations
- Laundromats and dry cleaners
Authorities don't want people to panic and run out to the store to hoard supplies. If you need something important, you can get it.
You can also participate in outdoor recreation as long as you follow social distancing - staying six feet apart from others - and other recommended self-care health practices.
Along with social distancing, other best practices recommended by public health agencies include washing your hands thoroughly and frequently, and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or an elbow.
If you are sick, limit your contact with others and stay in a room separate from the rest of your family to avoid further spread.
Gov. Little explains a little more on how the isolation order works.
“It would be similar to the guidance that I gave everybody yesterday prior to community spread: people need to stay isolated, see if they have any symptoms. it's critical over there, because of the fact that there is some exposure at their health care facility, that we protect that," Little said.
Earlier Thursday, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean ordered the closure of bars and restaurants. Gov. Little won't do that.
This is changing quickly, again people around Idaho are asked to stay home if they can.
The shelter-in-place order comes after South Central Public Health District confirmed 12 new cases of COVID-19 in Blaine County.
Six cases are male: one in his 30's, four in their 40's, and one in his 50's.
Six are female: one under 20 years old, two in their 30's, two in their 50's, and one in her 70's.
Another case reported in Blaine County involves a person who is not an Idaho resident. That person has returned to their home state.
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