Governor Brad Little held a press conference at The Idaho Foodbank in Boise today to highlight the importance of supporting food banks and food assistance programs during the pandemic, and to provide Idahoans an update on statewide COVID-19 metrics. Little also said Idaho will remain Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds plan for another two weeks.
“Many Idahoans have experienced a job loss or loss in income since the spring, making it harder to afford the most basic of human needs – food,” Governor Little said. “As a result, more and more Idaho families are turning to their local food banks and food assistance programs during the coronavirus pandemic.”
The State of Idaho just approved $2.56 million in coronavirus relief funds to help The Idaho Foodbank and its 400-plus partners in all 44 counties meet the growing need for food assistance during the pandemic.
Almost half of The Idaho Foodbank’s partner organizations are schools, where backpack food programs and school pantries feed children during the school week as well as on the weekends when they are at home.
“The demand for food assistance is on the rise, and I want to commend The Idaho Foodbank, its staff, and all its supporters for rising to the challenge this year,” Governor Little said.
The number of hospital admissions of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients statewide is higher than the established metric. However, over the past two weeks the metrics improved in other areas. There are downward trends in overall confirmed cases, test positivity rates, and emergency department visits of patients with COVID-like illness. There is a sufficient amount of ventilators, ICU beds, and hospital PPE statewide. In addition, the number of all people admitted to hospitals is stabilizing.
“Our statewide metrics tell us our efforts to preserve healthcare capacity and slow the spread of coronavirus are working. Canyon, Ada, Kootenai, Bonneville, and Twin Falls counties continue to be hot spots for virus activity, and I support mayors and public health officials in their decisions to mitigate spread at the local level,” Governor Little said.
“One of the best ways we can resolve food insecurity is to control the virus and bring down the number of cases in Idaho so Idahoans can get back to work and our children can go back to school for in-person learning,” Governor Little added. “Please continue to practice all the preventive measures we have been talking about – wear a face mask in public, wash your hands and clean surfaces regularly, keep physical distance from others, and stay home if you’re sick.”