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Idaho Gov. Brad Little says most COVID-19 spread is from small family, friend gatherings

Little is encouraging Idahoans to practice Thanksgiving safely.

BOISE, Idaho — With Thanksgiving approaching, Governor Brad Little is urging Idahoans to follow the guidelines under the modified Stage 2 order to keep themselves, their families and others safe from the coronavirus. Under that order, public and private gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer.

Doug Petcash: Limiting groups to ten people or fewer seems to be the key change in this Stage 2 order. Is that because you feel that most of the spread is coming from small family and friends type gatherings?

Gov. Brad Little: "We know that's where the spread is coming from. We know it's particularly when people let their guards down and they get into a more familiar setting whether it be a party, a family dinner, an event, maybe riding together to an athletic event or something else. Our contact tracing tells us, and when I'm on the phone with other governors nationally, it's uniform. Those familiar gatherings where people let their guard down and significant spread is taking place."

Doug Petcash: That being said, what do you want people to do about Thanksgiving?

Gov. Little: "Well, if you've got somebody that's health-compromised, unless people have isolated themselves they need to be very careful because as that healthcare capacity, as we bump up against that healthcare capacity, the last thing you want is one of your loved ones, and of course that's what Thanksgiving is all about is to get together with your loved ones from afar, but if they come from an area where there's significant spread there's guidance that's available on our website about what to do, but people have just got to be careful."

Doug Petcash: So should people stick with marking the occasion just with those in their immediate household and maybe connecting virtually with relatives?

Gov. Little: "Absolutely. We've got much better virtual connection, but it's still not the same thing to me and most Idahoans as a traditional Thanksgiving where we, not only where we get together and enjoy our family and friends but where we celebrate what we're thankful for. But I want to urgently ask Idahoans to be thankful. These small sacrifices, and they are very small given the nature of this, We have a vaccine that's on the cusp. I'm pretty confident we'll be distributing the vaccine in December in Idaho, but it's going to take a while to get it out there. We want our economy to rebound. We want people to stay safe. We definitely want our kids in school. So those small sacrifices, even at Thanksgiving are going to be necessary for us to get there."

You can watch the full interview with Governor Little about the COVID-19 situation in Idaho on Viewpoint at 6:30 Sunday morning.

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