Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Gov. Brad Little issued a stinging rebuke to Republican lawmakers Friday, saying they were playing a “shameful” game that threatens the state’s pandemic recovery by trying to repeal Idaho’s emergency declaration.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

During a Friday news conference called earlier that morning, Gov. Brad Little sharply criticized fellow Republicans in the legislature pushing to limit emergency declarations to 30 days. Earlier in the week, state lawmakers in the House approved a bill that would allow the legislature to call itself back into session without the governor's approval. 


Boise State Public Radio is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This blog contains on closures, cancellations & news regarding the coronavirus in Idaho.

Looking for resources? Click here. If you have specific questions or a story about the virus in Idaho, please submit them here.

AP Images

Jan. 22 - 5:30 p.m.

On Friday, Idaho added 598 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 13 new deaths. More than 400,000 Americans—including 1,667 Idahoans—have died from the virus.

Of the new deaths, three were reported in Canyon County. Bannock, Bonneville, and Jefferson Counties reported two deaths each. Bingham, Gem, Kootenai, and Twin Falls Counties reported one death each.

Over the past week, the state’s long term care facilities reported four new coronavirus outbreaks and 15 fatalities.

House Speaker Scott Bedke, Speaker, House Speaker
James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho legislature is moving swiftly to use $4 million in taxpayer dollars to refresh its depleted legal defense funds as Republican leaders face multiple lawsuits claiming they haven’t done enough to ensure the safety of those with disabilities at the state Capitol during the pandemic.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

The first piece of legislation passed by the House during the 2021 Idaho legislative session would allow lawmakers to call themselves back into session at any point in the year.

The City Club of Boise heard from former legislators and pundits about the issues that will shape the 2021 Idaho session, and the challenges of governing in a global pandemic. 


charmedlightph / Adobe Stock

Some of the Mountain West's COVID-19 hotspots have been, and continue to be, areas with major ski resorts.

Rebecca Travers lives in Casper, Wyo. Until late last year, the 42-year-old had been working at a non-profit that helps volunteer organizations across the state.



Tuesday, the U.S. marked 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus exactly one year to the day since the first case was diagnosed in our country. More than 1,600 of those deaths have happened in Idaho. The good news: almost 11,000 Idahoans have received their COVID-19 vaccination.

AP Images

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says it’s not true that federal COVID-19 vaccine reserves are depleted. The state says it will continue to receive doses as expected. 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

State senators are moving forward with their effort to end Idaho’s emergency declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though Idaho could still lose millions in federal funding if it’s passed.

At the end of 2020, optimism within the nation’s small business owners cratered, reaching its lowest point since May. But as Troy Oppie reports, Idaho remains better off than many other states.

Jessica Hill / AP Images


As of Tuesday morning, the state reports 10,762 people have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho. With a population of more than 1.8 million people the state is a long way from reaching herd immunity against the virus. Even when folks are able to get the vaccine, will they choose to?

Frank Schulenburg/wikimedia

An effort to repeal Gov. Brad Little’s limitations on gatherings is headed to the full House for a vote.

The pandemic has brought Idaho’s public health districts into the spotlight. Many of their decisions — from mask mandates to recommendations for online schooling — have been heavily scrutinized, attracting large crowds to meetings and sometimes protests, too.


Roam Yocham / Boise State Public Radio

A procedural attempt to allow lawmakers with physical disabilities or health conditions to vote remotely during this year’s legislative session has failed.

DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman

It was another packed week in Idaho news. The legislature began their 2021 session after Gov. Brad Little's Monday State of the State Address. At the same time, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues but at a slower pace than was projected while members of the Idaho National Guard are on their way to D.C to protect the capital ahead of the inauguration. 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

One of Idaho’s most prominent voices of the governor’s pandemic response is supporting a new lawsuit against the legislature’s lack of COVID-19 precautions.

Adobe Stock

A love of apocalyptic horror films may have actually helped people mentally prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic. At least, that's according to research published this month in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.