Elbow Bump to Avoid Coronavirus

We’re in the homestretch of the 2020 session. Friday morning marks the final day of official budget setting on JFAC. The afternoon committees will also start wrapping up business for the year.

One issue has cropped up in recent weeks that I don’t believe any of us saw coming when we started the session.

The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has put everyone on high alert. I’ve heard questions and concerns from many of you. What are we doing to prepare for cases in Idaho?

A Responsible Reaction to Coronavirus

This week, Governor Little stepped up and made it clear he’s taking the necessary steps to protect our state and provide care for Idahoans. He’s established a Coronavirus Working Group, and you’ll be able to find the latest information on a new website, Coronavirus.Idaho.gov.

I appreciate the measured and practical response from the governor. He’s focusing on the facts and not the hype, as he shared in his press conference:

“While the individual risk for coronavirus in Idaho is still low, the situation is rapidly evolving, and we do expect confirmed cases in Idaho at some point. Idaho is prepared, and we all must do our part to prevent the spread of coronavirus by washing your hands frequently, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding others who are sick.”

Providing Help at the Local Level

Our Eastern Idaho Health District has also put together some helpful resources, including information for everyone from travelers to pregnant women. I encourage you to take a look, and going forward, double-check the information you hear.

In many instances, some of the best things we can do don’t require outside intervention:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice)
  • Pick up an extended supply of your existing prescription medications to avoid extra trips to the pharmacy
  • Limit physical interactions with vulnerable populations, like folks with pre-existing conditions
  • If you’re experiencing symptoms, including a fever or cough, call your doctor BEFORE going into the office to help prevent unnecessary exposure

I appreciate the efforts of our state and local health officials to lead on this issue and provide timely and valuable information for our communities. As always, please let me know if you have questions or concerns.