Campgrounds, dog parks, hot springs close as COVID-19 deaths reported in Idaho

It was announced Thursday the first three people have died because of the coronavirus in Idaho, according to a press release.

The Idaho Statesman reports new coronavirus cases have been reported in Kootenai County and Nez Perce County, increasing the statewide count to 188 confirmed cases. That brings the count up to 10 cases in Kootenai and four in Nez Perce.

The latest case in Kootenai County is a woman in her 50s. She is self-isolating at home and Panhandle Health District is working to find where she contracted it.

All of the patients diagnosed in Nez Perce County are older than 70, according to the North Central Public Health District.

On Thursday morning, the number of cases of coronavirus in Blaine County increased to 82 people, and a Boise Airport employee tested positive.

The statewide count of coronavirus cases, as of Thursday night, was at least 188 people.

The South Central District Health website updated its numbers Thursday night, marking the increase in Blaine County cases.

The Transportation Security Administration website on Thursday verified that a baggage officer at the Boise Airport tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The officer’s last day at the airport was reportedly March 19.

Gov. Brad Little issued a mandatory stay-home order Wednesday that remains in effect for 21 days, with exceptions only for essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and others.

Health officials continue to urge people to stay home and practice good hygiene amid the global pandemic.

The Idaho court system now offers the option for victims of domestic violence to file for a civil protection order online, rather than visiting a courthouse.

Multiple county courthouses in Idaho are largely closed to the public, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, the courts announced that civil protection order forms can now be filed in any Idaho court online, via the Guide & File tool. The tool asks a series of questions to gather necessary information to help Idahoans file court forms remotely.

The website,, is available statewide. Anyone seeking additional details on court protective orders or who is eligible to file them can visit the Idaho Legal Aid Services website at

Protection orders are meant to keep victims and abusers apart. The orders also allow law enforcement to impose criminal penalties, should an abuser violate the order.


Idaho Power announced Thursday that it will close all of its recreational facilities, including boat ramps, parks and day-use areas, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s campgrounds have been closed since March 16.

The company said, through a press release, that it made the decision after the governors of Idaho and Oregon increased restrictions in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

The closures will remain in place until at least mid-April, according to Idaho Power.

“We recognize the impact that these closures have on the public,” said Fred Noland, recreation supervisor for Idaho Power, in the news release. “They come at a time when we’d all like to be spending more time outside. But this is a necessary step to protect our employees, our customers and the communities we serve while focusing on our core mission, which is to keep the lights on.”

Idaho Power owns and maintains more than 50 recreational sites along the Snake River, from American Falls downstream to Hells Canyon, as part of its requirements to operate its hydroelectric projects.


In a news release Thursday, U.S. Forest Service officials said sites in the Boise National Forest are closed “immediately” to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Officials said the closure is meant to protect local communities near the recreation areas from being affected by the virus.

“In the midst of Spring Break, we have visitors that want to enjoy the forest but many areas, including hot springs, are drawing more people than social distancing guidelines recommend” said Tawnya Brummett, Boise National Forest supervisor, in the news release. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and re-evaluate as new information becomes available.”

A copy of the closure order shared on Facebook by Boise County Emergency Management shows the closure includes parking lots and campgrounds near Idaho City, Pine and Featherville, including Whoop-um-up, Kirkham and Elk Flats.


The Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a news release said it would close its offices except by appointment and move many services online.

On Thursday, the agency said offices will remain closed through April 15 unless otherwise ordered by Little. In-person services such as bear bait permits and outfitting licenses will be available by appointment, as will checks on predator harvests including wolves, black bears and mountain lions. Find a list of Fish and Game offices and their phone numbers here.

Fish and Game offices will not accept cash during this time, officials said. Hunters and anglers are encouraged to apply for controlled hunts or purchase licenses online.


Boise Department of Parks and Recreation has tightened its restrictions, which previously only closed off playground equipment, to include dog parks, skate parks and park and trailhead restrooms, among other facilities.

In a Facebook post Thursday, the agency said the restrictions were meant to better comply with Little’s shelter-in-place order issued on Wednesday.

The Boise Bike Park, Boise Whitewater Park and Warm Springs Golf Course are included in the closures. The Greenbelt, Ridge to Rivers trails and city parks remain open.

Reported by the Idaho Statesman


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