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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, September 20 at 5:00pm

City of Driggs Declares State of Emergency Due to Hospital Crisis

[Driggs, Idaho]  “The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident,” said Dave Jeppeson, Director of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare as he initiated Crisis Standards of Care for all of Idaho last Thursday.

“The massive increase of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization in all areas of the state has exhausted existing resources.“ This dramatic and unusual step impacts anyone seeking medical care for an illness or injury, not just COVID. As of September 16, 2021, there were 835 active cases of COVID being tracked by Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH), 44 of which are Teton County residents. Last week DHW released data showing that during the period of May 15 to September 11 of this year, of all COVID cases within Idaho, 90% of cases are among unvaccinated individuals, 91% of hospitalizations for COVID are for the unvaccinated, and 88% of all COVID-related deaths were unvaccinated.

Director Jeppesen continued, “Our hospitals and healthcare systems need our help. The best way to end crisis standards of care is for more people to get vaccinated. It dramatically reduces your chances of having to go to the hospital if you do get sick from COVID-19. In addition, please wear a mask indoors in public and outdoors when it’s crowded to help slow the spread.”

Following the recommendations of the Department of Health and Welfare as well as the Centers for Disease Control, Eastern Idaho Public Health, and our local medical professionals, all of which are urging people to wear masks indoors, Mayor Hyrum Johnson of Driggs today issued a Public Health Emergency Order requiring masks to be worn indoors in all publicly accessible places. The order went into effect at 12:00 a.m Monday, September 20th and applies to all businesses, government agencies, schools, churches, and any other indoor location within the City which is publicly accessible. The order is an administrative tool authorized under Idaho Statutes and will be reviewed and possibly extended by the City Council at its next meeting on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

“There has been so much misinformation floating around, and it’s led us to the crisis situation we are in right now,” said Mayor Johnson, “people need to understand how serious this situation is and be more cautious about their information sources.” Mayor Johnson suggested that accurate information can be found on the website links below.

“It is time to come together as a community and work for the benefit of all
to end this crisis,” urged Mayor Johnson.

More information is available about this mandate on the City of Driggs website here.
Download a printable sign for your business here.
See the full Public Health Order here.

Helpful Links: 
Teton County Idaho COVID Response: 
Eastern Idaho Public Health COVID Dashboard: 
City of Driggs COVID Information Page

Please keep in mind:
Masks are required at all public meetings of the city, with no exceptions.  Individuals who are unable to wear a mask may submit comments on Public Hearing items in advance through the methods listed on the City's website, and observe the meeting remotely through the zoom link provided for each meeting on the City's website.  No remote public comment options will be available through zoom or any other remote means during any meetings.

Thank you for your consideration and support of our efforts to keep everyone healthy and safe!

Hyrum F. Johnson, Mayor

Department of Health and Welfare Statistics for Idaho from September 14, 2021:
Copyright © 2021 City of Driggs, Idaho, All rights reserved.

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