Stay-home order and COVID-19

| April 6, 2020 1:29 PM

The Shoshone News-Press, on the front page of its Friday, April 3rd edition has a photo of the staff of Mountain Valley of Cascadia. The staff is asking the community to stay home and abide by the stay-home order so that high-risk individuals such as their residents are kept safe from COVID-19.

It is my understanding that part of the stay-home order, as well as the National Guidelines, recommend social distancing of 6 feet. Why is it that I am looking at a photograph of 16 employees of the healthcare facility, who are most clearly NOT following the social distancing guideline?

Either the healthcare facility staff does not follow the guidelines it promotes, or the staff feels that this novel coronavirus is not as dangerous as is being promoted. Which is it? I see the same lack of social distancing when watching the President’s task force coming before the nation in its press conferences. I ask the same question.

If one were to create a spreadsheet from the data supplied by Idaho’s Health & Welfare agency on the coronavirus.idaho.gov website, one would notice that 12 of 44 counties have never seen a confirmed case. For the last few days, the numbers of new positive cases in Idaho have decreased dramatically and the fatalities has fairly flatlined at 10 since March 31st.

Most new cases have been seen in the more urban areas of Idaho, and the statistics show that the increase in confirmed cases as of Sunday April 5th are mostly seen in Ada County. Those numbers are decreasing as well.

The question then becomes: Should the Governor of Idaho review & amend his state-wide stay-home executive order to more comport with the President’s National Guidelines, or should he continue violating the constitutional rights of all Idaho citizens when so few are actually affected by the COVID-19 virus? The right to assemble, the right to religious freedom etc.?

Of course, at the very least, the most vulnerable citizens, their caretakers and those with weak immune systems should consider the National Guidelines such as good personal hygiene and staying away from those who are ill with anything. But do the rest of Idaho’s businesses and citizenry need to continue to fall prey to the draconian measures imposed by the stay-home order at this point? In my opinion, the answer is NO; not without the data to substantiate them. Idaho does not have the data. Governor Little needs to free up industry in Idaho immediately and take measures to protect the vulnerable population with other means.

Jann Higdem,

Pinehurst