Idaho – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions taken to date. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


Idaho coronavirus resource page.

  • March 4, 2020—Governor Brad Little announced the creation of new Coronavirus Working Group that will support Idaho’s public health agencies and increase coordination and communication.
  • March 6, 2020—The Idaho Legislature approved Governor Little’s request to transfer $2 million to the Governor’s Emergency Fund to help in Idaho’s response to the coronavirus.
  • March 13, 2020—Governor Little declared a state of emergency. 
  • March 16, 2020 – The legislature approved the Governor’s request to allocate an additional $1.3 million to ensure essential government services.
  • March 16, 2020- Idaho Department of Health and Welfare provided care providers payment for eligible children if they remained open during the public health emergency.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor announced the State of Idaho is seeking responses from small, non-farm businesses across Idaho whose operations and ability to conduct business have been disrupted by the coronavirus. The information received will determine whether impacted businesses will be eligible for disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor announced that Idaho is adopting the latest guidance from the White House and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of coronavirus. This includes recommendations to avoid discretionary travel and social gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor issued a mandatory isolation order for Blaine County.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor signed two proclamations today – one lifting restrictions in 125 administrative rules to increase healthcare provider capacity and reduce barriers to healthcare access and another extending the state income tax filing and payment deadline to June 15, 2020.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor’s request of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was approved and the SBA is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Idaho small businesses suffering substantial economic injury.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Idaho State Board of Education directed all public school districts and charter schools to immediately start a “soft closure” of all classroom facilities through April 20.
  • March 25, 2020 –The Governor issued a statewide stay-home order for the state of Idaho.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor signed an extreme emergency declaration allowing the state to increase health care capacity, take steps to reduce and slow coronavirus spread, and take rapid steps to improve the condition of unemployed individuals impacted by the pandemic.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor indicated that the state will receive close to $1.25 billion in federal aid to offset the impacts of COVID-19 to the state’s economy.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor signed multiple executive orders and proclamations that undertake the following actions:
    • Transferring $39.3 million to the Disaster Emergency Account, the maximum allowable amount under the law.
    • Reducing non-COVID-19 related General Fund spending in the fiscal year by 1-percent, which will save approximately $40 million statewide.
    • Helping Idahoans who are temporarily unable to work because of illness, quarantines, layoff or reduction of work related to COVID-19.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced that there will be no change to the date of Idaho’s primary election date.
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor stated during a virtual town hall that landlords in Idaho should avoid evicting residents during the outbreak and that he is considering taking action on this issue.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order forming a new Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee to oversee the approximately $1.25 billion in federal funds that Idaho will receive to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor announced that Idaho lenders and the small business administration are now accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications. 
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that he would be extending the stay-at-home order until April 30th.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor launched Recreate Responsibly Idaho, a new campaign aimed at making outdoor activities safe during the spread of COVID-19.
  • April 23, 2020 – The Governor announced a new plan to reopen Idaho’s economy. The plan will occur in four stages and individuals can track the progress in reopening by visiting the website, rebound.idaho.gov, set up by the governor’s team.
  • April 23, 2020 – The Governor announced the creation of his Economic Recovery Advisory Committee, made up of business leaders across the state. The group will provide recommendations on rebuilding employee and consumer confidence, providing for business stability and growth and eventually, business promotion and attraction.
  • April 24, 2020 – The Governor announced a new public-private task force to create a COVID-19 testing strategy for the State of Idaho moving forward. Their immediate focus includes:
    • Safe and efficient screening and testing sites for symptomatic individuals, including those with mild symptoms
    • Screening and testing locations in all regions of the state, including places that serve older individuals, rural and lower income populations, and racial and ethnic minorities
    • Robust COVID-19 testing programs for at-risk healthcare workers
  • April 24, 2020 – The Governor issued two new proclamations:
    • Extending the disaster emergency and extreme emergency declarations
    • Waiving further regulations to improve and maintain access to care
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor announced plans for more than 30,000 small businesses to receive Idaho Rebound cash grants, a $300 million investment in Idaho’s small business employers.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state will move forward with the first stage of its plan to reopen businesses. Nearly all retail stores and houses of worship will open in the first stage.
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor announced a new Idaho Child Care Emergency Grant to provide childcare business owners with the financial resources to reopen and continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 4, 2020 – The Governor announced the full eligibility criteria and process for small businesses to apply for an Idaho Rebound cash grant.
  • May 6, 2020 – The Governor announced that Battelle will decontaminate N95 masks at no cost.
  • May 7, 2020 – The Governor made protocols available for indoor gym and recreational facilities managers to implement in order to open in stage 2 of the Idaho Rebounds plan.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor stated that salons, bars, and other retail business that violate the phased reopening plan are at risk of losing their operating license for those violations.
  • May 12, 2020 – The Governor stated that he decides the standard for when bars and restaurants may reopen in various cities in the state.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor approved the states movement to Stage Two of reopening Idaho as scheduled on Saturday, May 16.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor announced that small businesses have a new resource to access masks, gloves, and sanitizer as the state enters Stage 2 of the four-stage Idaho Rebounds plan to safely and responsibly open Idaho’s economy. Idaho small businesses can obtain a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for their employees and patrons at supplies.idaho.gov.
  • May 18, 2020 – The Governor’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee approved the eligibility expansion for cash grants to the self-employed.
  • May 18, 2020 – The Governor announced that protocols are now available for bars/breweries/wineries/distilleries and outdoor pools/splashpads/waterparks to open in Stage 3 of the Idaho Rebounds plan.
  • May 21, 2020 – The Governor announced that the State of Idaho will not borrow money in the bond market to meet anticipated cash flow requirements for the current fiscal year.
  • May 22, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Testing Task Force assembled one month ago has completed its recommendations. They include:
    • Who should be tested and how often.
    • Investment in local testing capacity must be significantly increased.
    • Expansion of molecular diagnostic testing now, which in combination with proven public health practices such as tracing, physical distancing, enhanced sanitation, hand hygiene, and instructing ill people to stay home to protect others, will help stop the spread of COVID-19.
    • A limited use of serologic (antibody) testing, which detects human antibodies to the virus.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Idaho Department of Labor has released data that shows that continued claims are down 8% from the previous week it measured but that unemployment remains at 11.5%.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor announced state and local public health experts have created a new guidance document to assist with decisions about gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the guidance is known as the Interim Guidance for Safe Gatherings and Public Events in Idaho.
  • May 28, 2020 – The Governor announced that after consultation with movie theater operators and public health officials, he decided to move up the opening of movie theaters by two weeks – from Stage 4 to Stage 3– as long as protocols are followed.
  • June 8, 2020 – The Governor announced his plan to offer up to $1,500 cash to Idahoans who return to work. The Governor’s plan includes one-time cash bonuses of $1,500 for full-time work and $750 for part-time work and will be provided to the worker after return to the workplace. The funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified applicants.
  • June 8, 2020 – The Governor announced the state is leveraging federal coronavirus relief funds to cover local public safety personnel salaries, and giving cities and counties the opportunity to pass on the savings to property taxpayers. The move is expected to provide up to $200 million in property tax relief.
  • June 9, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of ONE Idaho, an initiative to highlight the resilience and adaptability of Idaho businesses, employees and consumers as the state moves through stages of reopening and rebounding.
  • June 13, 2020 – The Governor announced that Idaho would be moving to Stage 4 of the reopening plan. Under Stage 4, gatherings of more than 50 people are permitted as long as social distancing is practiced.
  • June 17, 2020 – The Governor announced the formation of two new committees to create a plan for reopening public schools this fall and a plan to address the “digital divide”. The committee will make guidance and resources available to school districts and charter schools in the coming weeks.
  • June 17, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order establishing the authority for the administration of “Return to Work” bonuses.
  • June 18, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order easing telehealth restrictions.
  • June 25, 2020 – The Governor announced that Idaho will transition to a regional response to COVID-19, and the state did not meet metrics to move out of the final stage of the Idaho Rebounds plan.
  • June 30, 2020 – The Governor stated during a town hall that he has not ruled out mandating mask wearing for the state if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.