Idaho - COVID-19 Covered


Total Cases: 521,120 (March 10)
Fatalities: 5,416 (March 10)
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in Idaho can be found here.


Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Little classifies essential businesses as healthcare operators, essential infrastructure operators, government services, childcare providers, businesses that provide essential resources to the disadvantaged, grocery store, automotive repairs and supplies hops, gas stations, convenience stores dry cleaners, laundromats, hardware store, firearm businesses, food cultivation businesses, mailing businesses, news media, transportation services, supplies, and shipment businesses, and home repair businesses are all consider essential services. (March 25)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Little signed an executive order loosening Department of Labor unemployment benefit rules including allowing those not employed due to COVID-19 concerns to gain a medical waiver for not seeking employment, in addition to other filing requirement suspensions. (June 11) 
  • Idaho released safe practices guidance for group gatherings for specific industries that are reopening. (May 27) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Little announced the state would end its participation in three federal pandemic unemployment compensation programs. (May 12) 
  • Idaho began making Lost Wages Assistance payments. (September 4) 
  • Governor Little announced that Idaho would participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program. (August 18) 
  • Governor Little announced that the state would allocate $2.56 million to the Idaho Foodbank, and Idaho’s long-term care facilities would receive an additional $10 million. (August 17) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Little signed a bill that shields businesses, schools, and other local entities from coronavirus liability. (August 28) 
  • Governor Little announced the launch of the “One Idaho program, which will highlight the resilience and adaptability of Idaho businesses, employees, and consumers during the reopening of Idaho. (June 9) 
  • Governor Little’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee approved the eligibility expansion for cash grants to self-employed individuals. (May 18) 
  • Governor Little announced a new Idaho Child Care, Emergency Grant, to give childcare business owners financial resources to reopen and continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 1) 
  • Governor Little announced a $300 million “Idaho Rebound” grant program. The program gives up to $10,000 in grants to small businesses that did not receive Payroll Protection loans or did not receive $10,000 or more in loans. (April 30) 



  • Governor Little reversed Lieutenant Governor McGeachin’s ban on mask mandates. (June 1) 
  • Lieutenant Governor McGeachin signed an executive order banning mask mandates in the state. (May 28) 
  • The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare announced that the state would move to Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds Plan. (May 14) 
  • Idaho lifted a work and residency requirement for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. (April 30) 
  • Governor Little signed an executive order banning any state governmental entity from requiring “vaccine passports.” (April 9) 
  • Several of the state’s health districts expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility early. (March 31) 
  • Governor Little announced that all residents would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by April 5. (March 24) 
  • Idaho’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee announced that residents 16 years of age and older who have an underlying health condition would be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by April 12. (March 17) 
  • COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech were set to arrive in Idaho by the week of December 14The state expected to receive all of the initial allotment of 13,650 doses of the ultra-cold vaccine. (December 14) 
  • The Idaho House passed a resolution that would end Governor Little’s emergency declaration, while the Idaho Senate passed a resolution that asked the governor to end the emergency declaration without a direct mandate. (August 27) 
  • Governor Little announced a four-stage plan to open Idaho in phases if criteria are met for each stage. Stage 1 could start by May 1 and would open daycares, youth activities, and places of worship if proper social distancing guidelines are followed. In Stage 2restaurants with approved health planshair salons, gyms, and recreation centers could reopen though telework and social distancing would still be promoted when possible. In Stage 3gatherings of 10 to 50 people could resume, nightclub plans for reopening in Stage 4 would be developed, nonessential travel could resume, and people entering the state would no longer need to self-quarantine for 14 days. Telework and social distancing would still be encouraged when feasible. In Stage 4gatherings of 50 or more people could resume, bars and nightclubs could reopen, visits to senior facilities could resume with increased hygiene and social distancing measures, movie theaters and sporting events could resume with limited capacity and social distancing, all workers would be able to return to work with increased sanitation and health protocols. (April 23) 



  • Governor Little announced he would instruct the State Board of Education to revise its high school athletic plan to allow more spectators at sporting events. (January 22) 
  • Governor Little announced $99 million in relief funding for K-12 schools. Governor Little also announced that $50 million will go directly to Idaho families as part of the “Strong Families, Strong Students” initiative. (September 14) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Idaho colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • The Governor’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) voted to direct another $6 million in federal relief funds to assist higher education institutions across the state. (October 5) 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at [email protected]