Novel coronavirus

Courtesy photo

BOISE – The Department of Health and Welfare and Governor Brad Little announced Idaho’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus at 5 P.M. on Friday in the governor’s ceremonial office on the second floor of the Idaho Statehouse.

The announcement about Idaho’s first case comes after the virus has already spread in neighboring Washington and Oregon – and hours after Gov. Brad Little declared a state of emergency.

Officials said the patient who has the coronavirus is a woman in southwest Idaho (Ada County) who is over 50 years old and recently returned home from a conference in New York City. The woman is currently at home and recovering from the illness.

The woman did not need to be hospitalized for the coronavirus.

The Department of Health and Welfare said Gov. Little held a press conference at 5 p.m. at the Idaho Statehouse a revealed that the woman was at the conference at the end of February/start of March. Officials at the Central District Health Department said there was a small window that the woman was able to spread the illness.

The emergency declaration Gov. Brad Little signed Friday made funds available for the Emergency Disaster Fund and activates the Idaho Emergency Operations Plan, which will allow the governor more flexibility in expediting contracts and buying supplies.

The emergency declaration will help Idaho’s ability to get critical supplies like respirators from the national stockpile, and expedite the renewal of licenses for nurses.

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