Safeguarding the health and prosperity of Idahoans: An Update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

DirectorsUpdateYesterday, Gov. Brad Little announced some great news for Idahoans. Because Idahoans followed the Stay-Home Order and met the outlined criteria, we are able to enter Stage 1 of the Governor’s Rebound Plan to reopen Idaho. That means retail stores, places of worship, and youth activities can reopen by following the appropriate protocols. The Stay-Home Order has been replaced by the Stay Healthy Order for Stage 1. The new order follows federal and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and was developed in consultation with the DHW epidemiologists.

The reasons we can begin to reopen Idaho are because of your diligence in following the Stay-Home Order and because you followed the recommended precautions. The best thing all of us can do to support businesses is to continue to do the following:

  • Engage in physical distancing of at least six feet
  • Wear face coverings in public places
  • Stay home if sick
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Disinfect surfaces and objects regularly

Gov. Little  also announced some great news for the small businesses of our state. Idaho will be using the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars to provide cash grants of up to $10,000 to more than 30,000 Idaho small businesses. The application will be available on Rebound.Idaho.Gov next Tuesday, May 5. Small businesses are extremely important to our economy, particularly as we rebound from COVID-19 which is why the Governor is making a $300 million investment in them. You can find more information at: https://rebound.idaho.gov/idaho-rebound-cash-grants-for-small-businesses/. Continue reading “Safeguarding the health and prosperity of Idahoans: An Update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen”

Guidelines for Opening Up Idaho: DHW Director Dave Jeppesen outlines the transition from response to rebound

Gov. Brad Little unveiled his Path to Prosperity, Guidelines for Opening Up Idaho, at a press conference yesterday. The document outlines a staged approach to getting our economy moving and getting Idahoans back to work.

There is nothing more important to those of us serving the people of Idaho than making sure Idahoans are safe and healthy, as well as returning Idaho to the symbol of prosperity it was before the COVID-19 crisis.

There are certain criteria that must be met to advance through the stages to re-start our economy. When that criteria is met, the economy will be opened in stages (every two weeks).

There is a new website, rebound.idaho.gov, that provides all the details for businesses as Idaho opens up for business. To help the Governor’s staff and the Governor’s Coronavirus Working Group make decisions, the Gov. Little has created the Governor’s Economic Rebound Advisory Committee, led by Darrel Anderson from Idaho Power. The Advisory Committee is responsible for providing recommendations to Gov. Little in support of the state’s rebound from the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus. You can keep up with changes and recommendations on the website. Continue reading “Guidelines for Opening Up Idaho: DHW Director Dave Jeppesen outlines the transition from response to rebound”

DHW Director Dave Jeppesen encourages Idahoans to stay strong and safe as we continue to slow the spread of COVID-19

Stay-Home Order Update

On Wednesday, April 15, Gov. Brad Little extended the Stay-Home Order to April 30 (with some exceptions outlined below). Thankfully, the mitigation has been working, and Idaho is seeing a flattening of the curve. This is because the people of Idaho have followed recommended precautions and committed to the state’s request to “stay home and stay safe.”

What do the next two weeks look like as we continue the Stay-Home Order? The people of Idaho will continue to telework if possible, to stay home unless they need essential items, and practice all recommended hygiene precautions.

What about travel? The data tells us that travel is the most commonly known source of COVID-19 infections in Idaho. Because we know this, there are some new guidelines in place:

  • If you are entering the state from another location, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days. This does not apply to those who are performing essential tasks or if your job requires you to live in one state and work in another.
  • And, if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, we are asking that they do not enter the state, unless they are in our state for medical care or are a resident of Idaho.

What about non-essential businesses? From here through April 30, if a business can operate with curbside, drive-through, mailed, or delivery services, they may open as long as they maintain social distancing for both customers and employees, including prohibiting any congregation of customers or employees in or around the place of business. Continue reading “DHW Director Dave Jeppesen encourages Idahoans to stay strong and safe as we continue to slow the spread of COVID-19”

COVID-19: A message from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s (DHW) mission is to promote and protect the health and safety of all Idahoans. I have had the privilege of being the director of DHW since January 2019. There’s no other job I would rather have and no place that I would rather be than serving the people of my home state.

I was born in Burley, Idaho, and I grew up in Ammon, a suburb of Idaho Falls. I went to college at Idaho State University in Pocatello. My wife and I, and our four children, have lived in the Treasure Valley for the past 10 years.

While these troubling times have changed our world, they have also brought out the best in all of us. The people of Idaho have showed heart by practicing social distancing and staying home when asked to help protect our most vulnerable residents. We have banded together to slow the spread of COVID-19, which makes me proud to be an Idahoan.

I want to personally thank the frontline of this battle: healthcare workers, grocery store employees, truck drivers, first responders, mail carriers, delivery personnel, and everyone else who is making sure Idahoans have essential items so there is some normalcy in our daily lives. Continue reading “COVID-19: A message from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen”