Governor signs proactive emergency declaration to further prevent coronavirus spread in Idaho

Friday March 13, 2020

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little issued a proactive emergency declaration today to aid in the coronavirus response effort in Idaho. With coronavirus spread occurring in neighboring states, confirmed cases are expected in Idaho at some point.

“With no confirmed cases in Idaho at this time, we are in the best position to be proactive and get ahead of the impact coronavirus could have here,” Governor Little said. “The concern, of course, is the wellbeing of our vulnerable population – the elderly with chronic underlying health conditions and others with compromised immune systems. But another big reason we are getting in front of it is to minimize the impact on our healthcare system. We need to slow down the spread of coronavirus so healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed with too many patients at once.”

The declaration activates the use of the Idaho Emergency Operations Plan and makes funds available for use in the Emergency Disaster Fund. It allows the Governor more flexibility to expedite contracts and purchasing of supplies, and it aids in the state’s ability to access critical supplies such as respirators from the national stockpile. In addition, the declaration includes provisions that allow the expedited renewal of licenses for nurses who have retired or left the profession.

There have been many questions around coronavirus testing. Key facts about coronavirus testing at this time include:

  • If someone has a fever or cough, they should contact their medical provider to find out if they should be tested for coronavirus.
  • People without symptoms will not be tested at this time.
  • After ruling out the flu through a rapid flu test, a provider may take a sample from a patient and send it to a lab where the actual coronavirus testing occurs. Most providers can use a simple swab to collect a sample.
  • Idaho is fortunate to have a state-run lab that can process coronavirus tests, and the lab is keeping up on testing needs at this time. Privately-run labs also have begun testing for coronavirus.
  • Idaho is actively working to expand access to testing across the state.

Updates and information are available at

The emergency declaration document is available here.

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NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Marissa Morrison Hyer, Press Secretary

208-943-1686 or


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