Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced Wednesday that he was declaring another, more severe state of emergency as well as a “Shelter in Place” order, which asks that all Idahoans, with the exception of people with “essential” jobs, to stay where they are and only go out for necessities.
“Idaho’s situation with coronavirus is changing rapidly, as you all know,” Little said during a press conference. “Idaho is one of the last five states to have a confirmed case of the coronavirus. … The experts tell us that the timing of decisions is important.”
Which occupations fall under essential is rather broad. It is broken down into nine categories: healthcare; infrastructure and construction; businesses that provide essential services such as grocery stores or child care; news media; education services; financial services; public transportation; food service such as take-out food; and a miscellaneous category that includes tribal services and legal services.
The full list of essential services is available on the Idaho COVID-19 informational page.
While schools are considered an essential service, the West Ada School District will remain closed until Monday, April 20, according to the district’s website. The Boise School District is also shuttered until the same date, according to its website.
Dan Hollar, public affairs administrator for the Boise School District, said that while school is closed until April 20, the schools will still provide free lunches to school kids.
“We’re all facing many challenges,” he said. “We’re offering those meals to children 1-18.”
The only stipulation is that the child has to be present.
“We know there’s a lot of hardship out there,” Hollar said.
In the coming weeks, the school district will also roll out online learning options for students, and are coordinating a plan to get students in the classroom again, even if that means they must work remotely and virtually.
“For us it’s about making sure we maintain those relationships the teachers have built with their students,” Hollar said.