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Idaho coronavirus updates: April 6-7

See the COVID-19 news in Idaho from April 5 and 6 as we work together to separate facts from fear.

BOISE, Idaho —

To see the latest live updates on coronavirus in Idaho, click here.  

Tuesday, April 7

5:40 p.m. -- Governor Brad Little signs an executive order forming his new Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee

The group will oversee the approximately $1.25 billion in federal funds that Idaho will receive to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, State Controller Brandon Woolf is partnering with Governor Little report the use of funds on the Transparent Idaho website state's government transparency website, giving all Idahoans the opportunity to see how the federal funds are used.

5:35 p.m. -- Two more deaths reported in Blaine County

The latest update from the state website says Idaho now has 15 deaths due to the virus.

2:53 p.m. -- Blaine County to hold virtual town hall Wednesday

Blaine County officials will hold a virtual town hall Wednesday evening to answer residents' questions about the coronavirus.

The town hall will start at 6:30 p.m. April 8. Those who wish to participate can sign up here; they will then receive an email with instructions on how to connect online or call in. As of Tuesday afternoon, Blaine County led Idaho in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

2:14 p.m. -- Little suggests restrictions won't lift April 15

Gov. Brad Little on Tuesday strongly suggested his stay-at-home order could be extended past the 21-day deadline. Little made the comments during the AARP telephonic town hall.

In response to a caller's question about whether the order will continue past the April 15 cutoff date, the governor said that he and his coronavirus team are still working to assess all the information coming in, but added that some type of restrictions will almost certainly remain in place.

"I will predict with pretty good confidence that something is going to continue on," Little said. "With the good Lord's help, I'm going to try to make the best decision going forward, but we will not return to normal on April 16."

12:05 p.m. -- Salvation Army of Ada County has plenty of food for those in need

Major Michael Halverson says people don't have to wait in long lines to get food from the Salvation Army.

Because the Meridian Food pantry for St. Vincent de Paul’s closed they are picking up more food and are no longer in need of food. But they need people to give the food to.

The Salvation Army says they have lots of food to give each family.

RELATED: 'This is unprecedented': Treasure Valley food pantry's drive-thru system needs more donations to stay open during coronavirus outbreak

11:40 a.m. - Gov. Brad Little to host statewide AARP telephone town hall

The governor will provide information and answer questions regarding COVID-19 in Idaho. The hour-long conversation begins at 12 p.m. Participants can join by dialing toll-free 866-767-0637 or register in advance by visiting https://vekeo.com/aarpidaho/.

11 a.m. -- Boys & Girls Clubs in dire need of donations

Five club sites remain open where kids are being kept safe, enriched with academic activities, and nourished with healthy meals. But they are in dire need of funding from the community to keep club operations and meal services running. You can give now to help them through these difficult times.

10 a.m. -- Boise closes all public recreation facilities and department offices to the public until further notice

Note: The park closures were already in place but the court closures are new as of Tuesday, April 7.

Boise Parks and Recreation has canceled all department programs, events, classes, camps, activities and volunteer opportunities through May 9.

Closures include: 

  • The Boise Depot (2603 W. Eastover Terrace)*
  • Boise Urban Garden School (2995 N. Five Mile Rd.)
  • Community Forestry (4969 W Dorman St)
  • Fort Boise Community Center and Art Center (700 Robbins Rd.)
  • Idaho IceWorld (7072 S Eisenman Rd.)*
  • Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center (3188 Sunset Peak Rd.)
  • Parks and Recreation Administration Office (1104 Royal Blvd.)
  • Quail Hollow (4720 36th St.) and Warm Springs (2495 Warm Springs Ave.) Golf Courses
  • Zoo Boise (355 Julia Davis Dr.)
  • All skate parks
  • All dog off-leash parks (off-leash areas and park hours unaffected)
  • J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Bike Park
  • J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Boise Whitewater Park
  • BMX Jump Park in Willow Lane Athletic Complex/Willow Lane Park
  • Tennis courts, pickleball courts, basketball courts and volleyball courts

Trails, trailheads, parks except for Whitewater Park and the bike park near Fort Boise, remain open - but restrooms at trailheads are closed.

Cemeteries managed by the City of Boise are also open.

Mayor Lauren McLean said the city is looking at more monitoring and enforcement of social-distancing rules on the trails.

7:29 a.m. -- Idaho Business for Education seeking donated laptops for students

Idaho students will continue online learning through the end of the school year. Idaho Business for Education has launched a program to get donated laptops into the hands of kids who would otherwise struggle to do their schoolwork at home. 

Monday, April 6

6:36 p.m. - First case of community transmission confirmed in Payette County

The first case of community transmission of COVID-19 has been detected in Payette County, according to Southwest District Health. Community transmission, or community spread, is when public health professionals cannot specify an origin for an infection, such as tracing it to specific travel or contact with a specific individual. The first coronavirus case in Payette County was announced on March 24. As of Monday evening, the county has five confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death connected to the virus. 

Other counties with confirmed community spread include Ada, Bingham, Blaine, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Kootenai, and Madison. 

“It is important for Idahoans to know the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 is increasing in our communities,"  said Nikki Zogg, Southwest District Health director. "Please do your part to help slow the spread of the virus. Please stay home if at all possible."

5:15 p.m. - Idaho death toll rises to 13

Three more people have died from complications related to COVID-19, the Idaho Health and Welfare Department announced on Monday. That brings the statewide total to 13. Two of the newly reported deaths were in Canyon County and one was in Payette County. At this point, there is no information available on those deaths. The statewide total of coronavirus cases is now at 1173. See a county-by-county case breakdown in our interactive map and timeline

5:02 p.m. - Ada County now has 418 cases of COVID-19, according to Central District Health; Statewide total now at 1159

4:10 p.m. - Soft closures for all Idaho schools extended

On Monday afternoon, the Idaho State Board of Education unanimously voted to extend the current soft closures for Idaho schools until the end of the school year or when health officials say it is safe to return to in-person classes. If health officials do deem it safe, individual school districts would still need to make the decision to reopen schools themselves.

3:20 p.m. - Power County has first confirmed case, according to Southeastern Idaho Public Health; 1140 total cases confirmed statewide. 

See a county-by-county case breakdown in our interactive map and timeline.

1:26 p.m. - Idaho attorney general says stay-at-home order is legal

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says the 21-day stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Brad Little is legal, and that the governor's power to do so is found in Idaho Code. At least one lawmaker and a county sheriff had previously argued that such an order was unconstitutional. 

10:53 a.m. - Jaialdi pushed back to 2021

Jaialdi, the annual Basque festival held in Boise, will be canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns. The event was set to start in July. Jaialdi will now be held July 27- Aug. 1, 2021.

"We have been planning a great festival for four years, so this was a difficult decision," said Jaialdi board member Amy Wray. "But the COVID-19 situation both home and abroad is too uncertain, and we don't want to risk the health of festivalgoers."

10:40 a.m. Blaine County up to 421 cases

South Central District Health reports that Blaine County has 421 confirmed cases. Twin Falls County up to 51 cases. See a county-by-county case breakdown in our interactive map and timeline.

9:02 a.m. Idaho National Guard helping out around the state

Members of the Idaho National Guard have been deployed to assist food banks and deliver supplies as the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases continue to grow. 

Click here for previous daily updates.    

Coronavirus resources: 

Closures

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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