New Restrictions for Madison and Fremont

Published online: Sep 15, 2020 Articles, East Idaho Health
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SE Idaho – The Board of Health (BOH) at Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH) met this morning (September 14) and determined Fremont and Madison Counties had met the metric (three consecutive days with a COVID-19 active case rate above 10/10,000 population) to elevate them to the Moderate Risk (Yellow) Level and issued an order for face coverings and  other restrictions for the counties. The Orders can be viewed on EIPH’s website at  www.EIPH.Idaho.gov

The Orders state, “Every person is required to wear a face covering that completely covers the person’s nose and mouth when the person is in a public place and other non-household  members are present and physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. A public place shall mean any place, indoor or outdoor, that is open to all members of the public without  specific invitation, including but not necessarily limited to retail business establishments, government offices, medical, educational, arts and recreational institutions, outdoor public  areas, including but not limited to public parks, trails, streets, sidewalks, lines for entry, exit, or  service.”

The Orders also provides a list of exemptions from wearing a face covering. We ask that people do not abuse the exemptions and that people, who legitimately qualify for an exemption, are not disrespected or harassed for not wearing one.  

In regards to social gathering and events, the Orders state, “Social gatherings and events, both  public and private, are restricted to a maximum occupancy in the venue that provides for  approximately 28 square feet per person (area of a 3-foot radius) based on the area patrons and gathering/event staff, participants, and/or performers will be situated for the gathering/event. It is  required that physical distancing of at least 6 feet be maintained between non-household  members while seated/positioned at the gathering/event. Gathering/event organizers must  ensure physical distancing be maintained at ticket booths, entrances, exits, restrooms, concessions, or any other locations within the venue.” 

This is not the first time Fremont County has been in the Moderate Risk (Yellow) Level. They  were elevated there on August 10 and remained there until August 27 when the BOH declared  they had hit the metric (seven consecutive days with COVID-19 active case rate below 10/10,000 population) to return to the Minimal Risk (Green) Level. This is the first time Madison  County has elevated to the Moderate Risk (Yellow) Level. Fremont and Madison Counties join  the following counties in the Moderate Risk (Yellow) Level: Bonneville, Custer, and Jefferson. Clark, Lemhi, and Teton Counties are currently in the Minimal Risk (Green) Level.  

COVID-19 cases in Madison County have been increasing for the past several weeks and its  first community member passed away from the virus last week. It is important, RIGHT NOW, to  do your part to slow our spread of COVID-19, particularly washing your hands or using hand  sanitizer, staying home if you are sick, practicing physical distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet  between individuals not of the same household), not hosting or attending large gatherings,  which makes physical distancing difficult, and wearing a face covering in public when not able to  physical distance. Wearing face coverings needs to be done in conjunction with other disease  reduction strategies, not instead of doing them.  

We appreciate the efforts of Mayor Jerry Merrill, including his nightly “United We Stand Against  COVID-19” updates to the community and we hope they continue to inspire the community to  action. We also note the extensive steps taken by BYU-Idaho to appropriately prepare campus  and their student and employee population for the start of fall semester this week. This includes  proactive informational campaigns that stress the guidelines for preventative measures on- and  off-campus, required masks, and other steps that preemptively meet the High Risk Level, such  as limiting gatherings to less than 50, teleworking, and limiting travel. Together, Madison County, along with the rest of the health district, can weather this storm and come out stronger and more united than before.  

Stay Informed 

The COVID-19 Regional Response Plan, current COVID-19 active and total case counts, details  on all cases, Response Plan metrics, and much more, can be found on our website and dashboard at www.EIPH.Idaho.gov. EIPH also has a COVID-19 call center to answer questions.  Call 208-522-0310 or toll free at 855-533-3160. The call center is open Monday through Friday  from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition, questions can be submitted via email to  COVIDQuestions@eiph.idaho.gov or asked through our Facebook page at @EIPH.Idaho. 


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