Budget committee shoots down federal overreach fund

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports  The joint budget committee shot down a new legal fund for the legislature Monday afternoon, voting 12-6 against the proposal.  The bill from Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, would have created a Federal Overreach Legal Defense Fund for the legislature’s legal expenses in defending the state from overreach by the federalContinue reading “Budget committee shoots down federal overreach fund”

Legislative committee questions consequences of Biden’s vaccine order

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Legislature’s Committee on Federalism met Wednesday to discuss President Joe Biden’s recent announcement on employee vaccinations. Idaho still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Crisis standards of care has been activated statewide due to a flood of COVID-19 patients, the overwhelming majority of whomContinue reading “Legislative committee questions consequences of Biden’s vaccine order”

Saint Alphonsus, St. Luke’s delay vaccination requirement deadlines

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho’s two largest hospital systems have paused a requirement that employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. “While we remain committed to our vaccine requirement policy, we are pausing the requirement for our Idaho colleagues only while crisis standards of care are activated,” said Mark Snider, communications director for Saint Alphonsus. TheContinue reading “Saint Alphonsus, St. Luke’s delay vaccination requirement deadlines”

Gov. Little “exploring legal action” against Biden’s vaccine mandates

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports On Friday, Gov. Brad Little announced he and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are exploring legal options to fight President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination mandates. On Thursday, Biden announced he is taking steps to mandate vaccinations for federal employees and contractors, health care workers at facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid,Continue reading “Gov. Little “exploring legal action” against Biden’s vaccine mandates”

State, federal government at odds over vaccine mandates for private employers

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports President Joe Biden announced Thursday afternoon that he will impose new stringent vaccine and testing requirements for federal workers and for all employers with more than 100 employees.  The announcement comes as coronavirus continues to rip through Idaho, filling hospitals to maximum capacity. Northern Idaho hospitals have already reached crisisContinue reading “State, federal government at odds over vaccine mandates for private employers”

IDHW clarifies policies on COVID-19 ‘booster’ shots

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports Following recent announcements from the federal government about possible COVID-19 vaccine “booster” doses, state health officials clarified who is currently eligible for a third shot.  In a media briefing Tuesday, state epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn said that third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines are currently intended onlyContinue reading “IDHW clarifies policies on COVID-19 ‘booster’ shots”

IDHW releases vaccination data by zip code

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Since vaccines became widely available in Idaho, the Idaho Department of Health has updated vaccine uptake data by county every weekday. That data shows high vaccination rates in some counties, like Blaine, where nearly 90 percent of the eligible population has had at least one dose. Other counties, like IdahoContinue reading “IDHW releases vaccination data by zip code”

FDA approves 3rd vaccine dose for immunosuppressed people. Who qualifies?

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported Friday that some immunosuppressed people can now receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday amended the emergency use authorizations for both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine toContinue reading “FDA approves 3rd vaccine dose for immunosuppressed people. Who qualifies?”

St. Luke’s hopes more employees choose to get vaccinated as hospital faces staffing crunch

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho’s latest COVID-19 surge, which has prompted some hospitals to delay certain non-emergency procedures because of staffing shortages, comes as a September deadline approaches for employees of St. Luke’s, Saint Alphonsus, and Primary Health to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.  During a media call on Thursday, St. Luke’sContinue reading “St. Luke’s hopes more employees choose to get vaccinated as hospital faces staffing crunch”

Little urges vaccinations as Delta threatens normal school year for Idaho kids

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Gov. Brad Little warned Thursday that rising COVID-19 rates could jeopardize a normal, in-person school year for Idaho students. At a press conference at Nampa High School, Little encouraged vaccinations as the most effective way to ensure an uninterrupted school year for Idaho’s children. “We can minimize or limit disruptionsContinue reading “Little urges vaccinations as Delta threatens normal school year for Idaho kids”