Statewide Stay-Home Order FAQs and listing of essential services

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Updated March 25, 2020

Idaho Gov. Brad Little and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare issued a statewide Stay-Home Order on Wednesday, March 25, for all Idahoans.

How long will the order last?

The order covers the entire state and begins immediately. It will last for at least 21 days. Gov. Little and public health officials will reassess the statewide situation before the end of the 21-day period to determine what happens next.

What can I do? What’s open?

• Gas stations

• Pharmacies

• Food: Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants • Banks and credit unions

• Laundromats/laundry services

• Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law

enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

• See a detailed list of essential services and business.

What’s closed?

• Dine-in restaurants

• Bars and nightclubs

• Entertainment venues

• Gyms and fitness studios

• Public events and gatherings

• Convention centers

• Hair and nail salons

Can the order be changed?

Yes. As the situation changes and more information is available, the Governor and public health officials can issue new orders and directives as needed.

How does this order interact with local orders already in place?

This is a statewide order, but cities, counties and local public health districts may enact more stringent measures.

If I don’t get a paycheck, I won’t be able to buy groceries or pay rent. Are there services to help me?

Yes. You may be eligible for public assistance for food, medical care, rent, and more. Please call 1-877-456-1233 or visit to apply.

Can I get groceries? Repair a plumbing issue? Shop for shoes? What is considered “essential travel”?

Yes, yes, and no, unless you are shopping online for shoes. All residents of Idaho must self- isolate and work from home as much as possible, unless you work in healthcare, public safety, or an identified “essential business” as defined in the order.

Will restaurants be open even if my community has not restricted them to delivery, takeout, or drive-thru services?

All restaurant dining rooms will be closed. Check restaurant websites for information on delivery, takeout, and drive-thru services.

Will public transportation be available, like buses?

Only to those who need transportation to provide or obtain essential services.

Do I have to stay home and inside, or can I go outside for exercise and recreation?

Outdoor activity near your home is OK, but you should keep a distance of 6 feet from people outside of your household. Social distancing requirements are in effect on paths, trails, sidewalks, riverbanks, beaches, parks, and anyplace outside on private or public property where people might gather. Crowds are a no-no.

Can I drive to a mountain town like McCall or Stanley? There aren’t many people in those communities, so social distancing should be easier.

Generally, no. The point of the order is to keep people home and slow the spread of COVID- 19. All non-essential travel must be avoided. Please stay home so you don’t overwhelm the limited resources in small towns and communities who are also staying home to slow the spread.

What if I want to have a birthday party for my child?

Consider having it online or postponing it until the order has been lifted. Non-essential gatherings of any number of people should be avoided.

Do I need to pay my taxes?

Yes, state and federal deadlines have been extended. All state taxes are now due on June 15. Federal taxes are due by July 15.

Who will enforce the order? Can I get a ticket if I’m out for non-essential reasons?

State and local law enforcement will enforce.

Can I still go out to pick up my prescription?

Yes. You may leave your home to visit a pharmacy.

Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends? Or a family member or friend who has disabilities?

Yes. Be sure to follow social distancing guidelines to protect them and you. If you are sick with any respiratory illness, stay home and find someone else to help care for them.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

Generally, no. This is difficult but necessary to protect facility staff and other patients. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with someone younger than 18 or who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the order prohibits visitation to these kinds of facilities except at the end-of-life.

Statewide Stay-Home Order Essential Services

Updated March 25, 2020

Governor Brad Little issued a statewide stay-home order and signed an extreme emergency declaration on March 25, 2020. The stay-home order is effective immediately and in place for 21 days. The Governor and public health officials will assess whether to extend the order near the end of the 21-day period.


The Stay-Home Order provides guidance on essential services. All people may leave their residences only for Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses. Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt, but are strongly urged to obtain shelter, and governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent. People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are ill are urged to stay in their homes as much as possible (except to seek medical care).

1. Essential healthcare operations, including:

- Hospitals

- Clinics

- Dentists

- Healthcare providers

- Pharmacies

- Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies

- Mental health providers

- Ancillary healthcare services

- Nursing homes, or residential healthcare facilities for seniors, adults and children

- Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children

- Veterinary services

2. Essential infrastructure, including:

- Public works construction

- Commercial construction

- Construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing


- Airport operations

- Law enforcement

- Fire departments

- Water

- Sewer

- Gas

- Electrical

- Oil refining

- Mining

- Roads and highways

- Public transportation

- Solid waste collection and removal

- Transfer and sale of real estate

- Internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national,

and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, telecommunications relay service, and web-based services)

3. Essential services and businesses, including:

- Childcare programs and services

- Essential government services including services and programs offered by the Department of

Health and Welfare

- Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for

economically disadvantaged or other needy individuals

- Plumbers

- Electricians

- Exterminators

- Landscapers

- Grocery stores

- Certified farmers’ markets

- Farm and produce stands

- Supermarkets

- Food banks

- Convenience stores

- Gas stations

- Auto supply stores

- Auto repair and related facilities

- Laundromats

- Dry cleaners

- Laundry service providers

- Hardware stores

- Hotels for purpose of isolation/quarantine or for those providing essential services

- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes

- Food cultivation including farming, livestock, and fishing

- Firearm businesses

- Other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and

vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, liquor, beer, and wine and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.

4. News media

5. Education services (Visit the State Department of Education website for more information)

6. Essential financial services, including:

- Banks

- Credit Unions

- Insurance

- Services related to financial markets

- Services related to financial markets

7. Essential transportation services, including:

- Airlines

- Taxis and other private transportation providers

- Transportation providers supporting essential activities

- Public transportation for essential services

8. Essential food services, including:

- Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out.

- Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so on the condition that the food is provided to students or

members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. (Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site.)

9. Other essential services, including:

- Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities

- Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home

- Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to


- Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences

- Essential tribal operations

- Essential operations at or related to INL or needed to support or provide supplies to INL

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