The City of Twin Falls has made an Emergency Declaration as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have more cases in Idaho.

On Friday the City of Twin Falls announced they'd be making the consideration of declaring the State of Emergency. After announcing the special meeting to be held on Monday, March 23 at 10 a.m. to consider it, Twin Falls County announced they'd also be present.

During the meeting, the mayor and city council first began discussing what the Emergency Declaration would do or stand for.

City Manager Travis Rothweiler said the emergency declaration can do a few things for Twin Falls. He said it is to streamline purchasing processes in response to COVID-19. The city and other local entities are governed by how we get goods and services. It also allows us to request reimbursement from federal and state agencies to use funds for unexpected expenditures in response to COVID-19, ie. additional masks, etc. He also said it would cut down the risk of liability when responding to COVID-19.

By considering the action, they said it would elevate the importance of responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the meeting, they explained that the emergency declaration isn't a shelter in place mandate and doesn't place any restriction on how business in the city will be done. The reason for that is the city said they don't have the authority to do so like the cities of Boise and Meridian have, as well as Blaine County.

At around 10:20 a.m., it was pointed out that the Governor will be having a press conference at 4 p.m. today. The council went on to discuss what it could look like if they did adopt it.

Rothweiler also pointed out the library, pool, some recreational services, and other places are closed. He said the city will make other decisions as we get closer to the season (spring soccer, flag football, swimming lessons, etc.).

Rothweiler said he also wanted to do a soft closure starting at 12 p.m. Monday. This would include suggesting restaurants do curbside pick up only, just as many banks have done. He said the city will also postpone any meetings that aren't absolutely necessary.

During the meeting, they also asked people to help out businesses that are struggling (shop online or curbside). At 10:43 a.m. the declaration was approved in a 7-0 pass. The city says they also plan on drafting something more in the future, even if it may not be needed. You can watch the full meeting here.

The City wants to remind people to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Governor of Idaho's recommendations to:

•    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
•    Limit close contact with other people.
•    Clean your hands with soap and water often. If soap is not available use hand sanitizer and then wash as soon as possible.
•    Stay home if you're sick unless you need medical attention. Call the doctor's office or hospital before you seek help.
•    Cover your coughs and sneezes. If you can't use a tissue, cover it with your arm.
•    Throw any tissues you use into the trash.
•    Clean and disinfect anything you touch often.
•    Avoid gathering in groups larger than 10.
•    Don't touch your face, mouth, nose, or eyes.

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