Idaho hospitals stable amid COVID-19 uptick

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports COVID-19 test positivity rates, or percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive, continue to climb in Idaho after a quiet spring, with more documented spread in eastern Idaho and the panhandle than in other areas of the state. But unlike previous surges, hospitals are nowhere near hitting a crisisContinue reading “Idaho hospitals stable amid COVID-19 uptick”

Former Idaho congressional candidate pleads guilty to misusing pandemic relief funds

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Former 2020 congressional candidate Nicholas Jones pleaded guilty Wednesday to using COVID-19 relief funds for personal expenditures and falsifying records to conceal campaign fund reports. U.S. House District 1 Republican primary election challenger Nicholas Jones appeared on the Idaho Debates Q & A in 2020.  According to court documents, Jones,Continue reading “Former Idaho congressional candidate pleads guilty to misusing pandemic relief funds”

Senate fails to override Coronavirus Pause Act veto

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports The Idaho Senate has failed to override Gov. Brad Little’s veto of the Coronavirus Pause Act.  The Senate voted 21-14 to override the veto of the legislation, which would have have prevented both public and private entities from requiring vaccinations as a condition of employment or service.  The original legislationContinue reading “Senate fails to override Coronavirus Pause Act veto”

Little vetoes Coronavirus Pause Act

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Gov. Brad Little has vetoed the Coronavirus Pause Act. The Coronavirus Pause Act goes against his limited government philosophy, Little wrote in his veto letter, adding the proposal “significantly expands government overreach into the private sector.” The proposed law would have prevented both public and private entities from requiring vaccinationsContinue reading “Little vetoes Coronavirus Pause Act”

Bill advances to guarantee visitors for patients, long-term care residents

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports The House Health and Welfare Committee has passed a bill guaranteeing  a right to visitation from essential caregivers for hospital patients and residents in long-term care facilities. The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, was crafted in response to early COVID-19 restrictions that prohibited in-person visits atContinue reading “Bill advances to guarantee visitors for patients, long-term care residents”

House votes to end COVID-19 emergency declaration, calls it “crying wolf”

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho House of Representatives on Monday voted to end the state’s emergency disaster declaration that Gov. Brad Little put in place. The resolution, sponsored by Reps. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, and Chad Christensen, R-Iona, passed the House with a 42-26 vote. It now goes to the Senate.  Scott claimed thatContinue reading “House votes to end COVID-19 emergency declaration, calls it “crying wolf””

Committee approves resolution to end emergency disaster declaration

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports House State Affairs moved forward Thursday a concurrent resolution that would end the governor’s state of emergency declaration, potentially jeopardizing federal funding. Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, introduced House Concurrent Resolution 40, saying she does not believe there is still an emergency.  Scott claimed the governor had overstepped his bounds byContinue reading “Committee approves resolution to end emergency disaster declaration”

House committee narrowly backs bill to guarantee in-person visits at long-term care facilities

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports The House Health and Welfare Committee narrowly endorsed a bill to guarantee in-person visitation at assisted living and nursing facilities, voting 6-5 to send the proposal to the House floor.  Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, sponsored the legislation, which would require facilities to allow in-person visits, while also allowing facilities toContinue reading “House committee narrowly backs bill to guarantee in-person visits at long-term care facilities”

Idaho deactivates crisis standards of care, hospitals remain stressed

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare deactivated crisis standards of care Tuesday in the three southern Idaho public health districts. The health districts activated crisis standards on Jan. 15 due to a shortage of healthy staff and a blood shortage. On Tuesday, IDHW announced shortages in staffing and bloodContinue reading “Idaho deactivates crisis standards of care, hospitals remain stressed”

House State Affairs introduces bill to ban mask mandates

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports House State Affairs introduced four new bills on Tuesday morning, including one that could prohibit governmental entities from mandating masks be worn. Rep. Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony, brought a similar bill last year, which passed the House but failed to get a hearing in the Senate.  Should this legislation pass,Continue reading “House State Affairs introduces bill to ban mask mandates”