The number of positive COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Idaho in recent weeks.
On Monday, Idaho’s seven-day moving average of new cases was up to 358.9 per day, according to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Despite the rise, some cities across Ada and Canyon counties said they will not require COVID-19 vaccinations for city employees.
On Tuesday, the city of Nampa announced it would not mandate vaccinations, after the City Council voted on a resolution declaring the city’s intent not mandate the vaccine for employees.
The cities of Meridian and Caldwell will also not require city workers to get vaccinated, city spokespeople told the Idaho Statesman in emails.
As for Boise? Human Resources Director Sarah Borden said in a written statement Tuesday that Boise “has no plan to mandate vaccines for staff at this time.”
Mayor Lauren McLean held a news conference about COVID-19 on Wednesday, wherein she encouraged residents to get vaccinated but issued no new mandates. Masks are required inside all city of Boise facilities.
Idaho is behind the national averages on COVID-19 vaccination rates. Just over 50% of Idahoans ages 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%.
On Tuesday, state officials said Idaho’s rapid increase in cases was tied to the delta variant, a more contagious variant of the coronavirus. At a news conference, state officials and Gov. Brad Little expressed concern about the state’s low vaccination rate. They were especially worried about populations of younger people.
Little said that schools, which plan to open full time this fall, could have instruction disrupted because of the delta variant.