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I am reaching out to the residents of Blaine County, Idaho to stop the spread of rumors about the enforcement of the temporary statewide COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order. We want to reassure our community with the facts.
We want to be very clear. We ARE NOT stopping cars on the highway and there are NO CHECKPOINTS to determine if your travel reasons are essential. We encourage you to read the order and interpret the language in the best interest of your family, friends, neighbors, our community and our country.
We have instructed our deputies to take a common-sense approach, consider the context of each situation, and utilize lesser sanctions such as education, warnings, or dispersal of the gatherings if warranted. I have the utmost confidence in our deputies to use their discretion wisely and treat the public with respect, fairness, and compassion. Note that if you are committing a traffic violation or crime, it will be enforced. We will continue to perform our duties and honor our sworn oath to protect our community’s safety.
Stay at home means stay at home unless it is vital for you to leave. Each time anyone ventures out of their homes, they increase the odds of being exposed to COVID-19 and are adding to the potentially devastating stresses on our invaluable health care providers, local law enforcement, paramedics, and fire departments — the life-saving first responders we all need to keep our community safe. Do not leave Blaine County unless essential. There are no roadblocks or road closures, but as Idahoans, we must do everything to protect our surrounding counties as we would protect our next-door neighbors.
Given the growing global crisis, it is likely we will all know someone who will be affected by the Coronavirus at some point. We need every single person to be part of the solution. I have full confidence the residents of Blaine County will do everything they can to protect each other in these trying times. Thank you for your cooperation.
We appreciate some of the terms are difficult to define. The governor’s office has set up some helpful FAQs to help you understand the order, what essential services and businesses are, and is what meant by stay-at-home. These sites are also available on the Public Safety page of our website.
Sheriff Steve Harkins
Blaine County, Idaho