Idaho's Republican governor extends stay-at-home order despite GOP criticism

Idaho's Republican governor extends stay-at-home order despite GOP criticism
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Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) has extended stay-at-home orders within the state through April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite increased protests popping up around the country against the continuing measures, saying, "I've got to do what I've got to do for the people of Idaho.”

"I am incredibly sympathetic [to local businesses]," Little said in his daily press briefing Wednesday. "I can't open up some of those businesses that have the opportunity for community spread until we get further down the road."

Little added that he recommended Idahoans wear masks in public and said he will impose a required two-week self-quarantine for any nonresidents entering the state, with an exemption for those performing essential services, an Idaho CBS affiliate reported.

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Under the extension, facilities and services that had been considered nonessential will be permitted to conduct curbside and delivery services, although the state’s convention centers, bars, gyms, night clubs and hair salons will remain closed.

Local and state officials have expressed both support and pushback on the extension.

"This was not an easy decision for [Little] to make," Meridian, Idaho, Mayor Robert Simison (R) said. "And I know many in our community and in our state were split on whether or not the stay-at-home order should be extended. I'm urging you, our Meridian residents, to continue following the governor's directive to stay at home so we can all get through this sooner rather than later."

But some state lawmakers pushed back on the measure.

State Rep. Heather Scott (R) urged supporters to “push back” against the “edict” in a Facebook post, according to the Spokesman-Review, saying “[t]his path chosen by Idaho’s Executive Branch is unconstitutional, un-American, and not the Idaho way.”

“It is not the role of government in a free society to tell us what we can and cannot do,” she said. “This is not going to end until we, as citizens, push back,” she added.