Idaho - COVID-19 Covered

Idaho

Total Cases: 58,694 (October 25)
Fatalities: 572 (October 25)
Testing:
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in Idaho can be found here.

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

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) 
  • The Idaho Department of Labor will waive the one-week waiting period for all unemployment applicants, consider claimants as meeting the available-for-work criteria if they are isolated and unavailable to work at the request of a medical professional, their employer, or their local health district, and provide parties an additional 14 days to appeal claims decisions. (March 27) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Idaho began making Lost Wages Assistance payments. (September 4) 
  • Governor Little announced that Idaho will participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program. (August 18) 
  • Governor Little announced that the state will allocate $2.56 million to the Idaho Foodbank, and Idaho’s long-term care facilities will receive an additional $10 million. (August 17) 
  • The Idaho Housing and Finance Association announced the Housing Preservation Program, which will provide short-term rent and utility support for Idahoans experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic. (June 15) 
  • Governor Little announced that the state is leveraging federal COVID-19 relief funds to cover local public safety personnel salaries, and allowing cities and counties to provide up to $200 million in property tax relief. (June 8)  
  • Governor Little announced back to work cash bonuses of up to $1,500 for individuals currently collecting unemployment to return to work. (June 5) 
  • During a virtual townhall, Governor Little said that landlords should avoid evictions when possible, but he didn’t issue a mandate. (March 31) 

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) 
  • The Idaho Department of Labor will not be charging businesses who pay a quarterly unemployment tax when employees are laid off due to the coronavirus and will provide parties an additional 14 days to appeal claims decisions. (March 27) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Little announced that Idaho will remain in Stage 4 of its reopening plan. (October 16) 
  • Governor Little announced that Idaho will remain in Stage 4 of its reopening plan. (October 2) 
  • Idaho will remain in Stage 4 of its reopening plan. (September 18) 
  • Idaho will stay in Stage 4 of its reopening for at least another two weeks. (September 4) 
  • The Idaho House passed a resolution that aims to end Governor Little’s emergency declaration. The Idaho Senate passed a resolution that asks Governor Little to end the emergency declaration without a direct mandate. (August 27) 
  • Governor Little announced that the state will remain in Stage 4 of its reopening for at least two more weeks. (August 21) 
  • Governor Little announced that the state will remain in Stage 4 of its reopening plan. (August 6) 
  • Safety protocols were put in place for long-term care facilities, nightclubs, and employers of people who are at greater risk of COVID-19, while restaurants were also updated to allow for more than six people at a table. (June 11) 
  • Governor Little released health, safety, and social distancing guidelines for outfitting services businesses that are reopening. (June 3) 
  • Governor Little said that salons, bars, and other retail business that violate the phased reopening plan could lose their operating licenses. (May 8) 
  • 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) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • 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) 
  • Governor Little reaffirmed that the state’s goal is to hold in-person classes. He announced that funds would be distributed to purchase technology for online learning and additional personal protective equipment. (August 7) 
  • Governor Little reaffirmed that the state’s goal is to hold in-person classes. He announced that funds would be distributed to purchase technology for online learning and additional personal protective equipment. (August 6) 
  • Governor Little’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee approved $10 million to equip schools with supplies needed to reopen safely. (July 24) 
  • Governor Little released the Idaho Back to School Framework, a plan that sets expectations for reopening in the fall and emphasizes the importance of in-person instruction. (July 10) 

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) 
  • Boise State University will resume in person classes with hybrid learning options to allow for online continuation. Additional distancing, health, and safety measures will be taken for those who choose to return to in-person classes according to the campus’s reintegration plan. (June 18) 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com