Former Senator Dean Mortimer hospitalized with COVID-19

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports On the Senate floor Monday, Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, read portions of a letter from former education chairman Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, who described his recent hospitalization due to COVID-19.  “We as a state have focused rightfully on prevention measures,” Mortimer wrote, “all of which I have been diligentContinue reading “Former Senator Dean Mortimer hospitalized with COVID-19”

Idaho vaccination laws already permissive, even before governor’s order

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports While Idahoans have had significant discussion about whether the COVID-19 vaccine would become mandatory, it’s worth note that the state has never mandated a vaccine for adults. There are rules around childhood vaccines for children attending school, but even those have wide-ranging exemptions.  Gov. Brad Little signed an executive orderContinue reading “Idaho vaccination laws already permissive, even before governor’s order”

Can teenagers get a COVID-19 vaccine without parental consent? It depends

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports As some parts of Idaho have opened up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents, regardless of age and medical conditions, there are still questions regarding children who don’t have parental consent. One of the three COVID-19 vaccines in use — the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — can be administered to people agesContinue reading “Can teenagers get a COVID-19 vaccine without parental consent? It depends”

Idaho legislators at odds with how to balance, restrict power in health crisis

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports During a contentious legislative session the state’s seen multiple bills targeted at largely restricting the powers of public health districts, the governor, and the Department of Health and Welfare. Before the legislature recessed because of a COVID outbreak, a lack of consensus on the best way to balance executive andContinue reading “Idaho legislators at odds with how to balance, restrict power in health crisis”

Who is getting vaccinated? Census data offers some clues.

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho counties with the highest rates of COVID-19 vaccination so far are some of Idaho’s wealthiest, while the counties with the lowest rates have significant Hispanic populations, according to data released Tuesday by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. But it’s hard to tell exactly who in those countiesContinue reading “Who is getting vaccinated? Census data offers some clues.”

Why doesn’t Idaho collect demographic on vaccine recipients? It’s “challenging,” but not illegal.

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports After telling Idaho Reports and the Idaho Statesman that the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is legally barred from collecting race and ethnicity data from vaccine recipients, IDHW director Dave Jeppesen told the legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Monday that isn’t the case. Last week, Idaho Reports and theContinue reading “Why doesn’t Idaho collect demographic on vaccine recipients? It’s “challenging,” but not illegal.”

Vaccine rollout continues with low supply and high demand

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports Idahoans ages 65 and older will become eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations on the first day of February. With increased demand, the state is making efforts to distribute vaccines as quickly and fairly as possible despite the limited quantity of doses coming into Idaho. Officials had previously considered using anContinue reading “Vaccine rollout continues with low supply and high demand”

Does Idaho have a racial disparity problem with vaccinations? We don’t know.

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports This week, CNN analyzed vaccination data from 14 states, finding white people in the United States are getting inoculated against COVID-19 at twice the rate of black and Hispanic people. But in Idaho, the state doesn’t know if there are racial disparities in vaccine distribution. It doesn’t collect that data.Continue reading “Does Idaho have a racial disparity problem with vaccinations? We don’t know.”

Former House Speakers: Legislature endangering Idahoans

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports On Wednesday, former Speakers of the House Bruce Newcomb and Congressman Mike Simpson released a joint statement condemning the Idaho Legislature’s recent attempts to curb the Idaho governor’s ability to declare emergencies and issue public health orders. The opinion piece was the latest in the public fight over COVID-19 mitigationContinue reading “Former House Speakers: Legislature endangering Idahoans”

Idaho’s vaccine shipment far short of what federal government promised

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho health officials started out the week with high hopes for ramping up the state’s vaccine roll-out. By Friday, the state has received fewer than half the doses it was promised for the week. Elke Shaw-Tulloch, Administrator of Public Health for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, said duringContinue reading “Idaho’s vaccine shipment far short of what federal government promised”