Sunday, April 18, 2021
Idaho Wants Proof You Live or Work Here if You Want a Vaccine
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Kurt and Kathy Dudley at least started their quest last week to ski the Virtual Boulder Mountain Tour wearing face masks. We don’t know if they were gasping through them by the end.
   
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

GRAPH BY PAUL RIES

The state of Idaho is now requiring that those seeking COVID-19 vaccines in the state either live or work in Idaho.

But second homeowners in Sun Valley and other resort towns will still be able to get vaccines in Idaho if they wish.

 
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Idaho reported just 282 new cases of COVID on Tuesday for a total of 169,866. After having gone four days without a COVID-19 -related death—the first time since early July—the state recorded 14 new deaths bringing the COVID death toll to 1,840. Blaine County reported four new cases of COVID on Tuesday for a total of 2,144. This, says Paul Ries is the first time Blaine and Twin Falls counties and Idaho have all been below 15 new cases per 100,000 people since late June.
 

“We know there are a lot of people in resort towns who spend significant time here and have an address associated with their second home,” said Elke Shaw-Tulloch, public health administrator for Idaho. “If they stay a good portion of the year, they’re still part of that community and we want to make sure they’re able to get a vaccine to protect themselves and the community. That’s different from someone who checks into an Airbnb for a few nights.”

Some 38,000 workers who live near the Idaho border and cross into Idaho to work each day will also be able to get a vaccine in Idaho if they wish.

The decision to restrict those who get the vaccine was made because of the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine that is available at this time. The federal government is basing its allotment on old data that doesn’t take into account how fast the state has grown in the past few years.

“Vaccine is being allocated to the states based on population numbers, and that means it’s based on the number of people who live in each state,” said Dave Jeppesen, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “Given the limited number of doses Idaho is receiving, we want to make sure Idahoans who live or work here have as much access to the vaccine as possible so we can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our state.

Idaho officials estimate about 4,800 people have been vaccinated in Idaho who didn’t live or work in the state, he added.

“And, so, we’re really just trying to acknowledge that we’ve gotten much quicker getting doses out, which makes us a more attractive place for people to come get vaccinated.”

Those who register for vaccines with any provider in Idaho will be asked to provide one of the following:

  • A driver’s license or work or school ID
  • A letter with the person’s name and address
  • A utility bill with the person’s name
  • A voucher from an employer, faith-based institution, healthcare provider, school or other agency that the person lives or works in Idaho.

Some vaccine providers may scan photo identification to add to a person’s confidential medical record as part of their existing process, but copies of letters, utility bills, or vouchers will not be copied or kept.

 Florida was one of the first to start requiring proof of residency after people from other states like New York took vaccine vacations to the state, which began doling out vaccines to those 65 and older earlier than most states.

North Carolina also opened its doors to those 65 and older in mid-January and New Jersey has already opened its vaccines to those 16 to 64 with medical conditions. But don’t bother heading there if you’re seeking a vaccine for someone in that group, as New Jersey has closed its borders to those from other states.

Closer to home, the state of Washington began requiring proof of residency or employment in late January.

“We even heard of large group being transported from one state to another because vaccine prioritization was different in different states,” said Shaw-Tulloch.


 

 

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