Idaho cities

Idaho Cities Reflect On What To Do With COVID Vaccines For Staff

The number of positive COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Idaho in recent weeks.

As of Monday, Idaho’s seven-day moving average of new cases stood at 358.9 per day, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Despite the laughe, some cities in Ada and Canyon counties have said they will not require COVID-19 vaccinations for city employees.

On Tuesday, the city of Nampa announced it would not impose vaccinations, after the city council passed a resolution declaring the city’s intention not to impose the vaccine on employees.

The cities of Meridian and Caldwell will also not require city workers to get vaccinated, city spokespersons have told the Idaho Statesman in emails.

As for Boise? Human resources director Sarah Borden said in a written statement Tuesday that Boise “has no plans to impose vaccines on staff at this time.”

Mayor Lauren McLean held a press conference on COVID-19 on Wednesday, in which she encouraged residents to get vaccinated but did not issue any new warrants. Masks are mandatory at all City of Boise facilities.

Idaho lags behind national averages for COVID-19 vaccination rates. Just over 50% of Idaho residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The national average is 67.6%.

State officials said on Tuesday that the rapid rise in the number of cases in Idaho was linked to the delta variant, a more contagious variant of the coronavirus. At a press conference, state officials and Governor Brad Little expressed concern about the state’s low vaccination rate. They were particularly worried about the youth populations.

Little said schools, which plan to open full-time this fall, may see instruction cut off due to the delta variant.

This story was originally published August 4, 2021 12:13 pm.

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