To our friends, neighbors and colleagues,

On March 13, Idaho confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Today, a little more than eight months later, hundreds of Idahoans have died and thousands more have become ill.

The recent surge in cases is overrunning our hospitals and clinics. The pandemic has had a significant impact on our economy, our education systems and our own mental health. We all want things to be normal; coming together to overcome this incredible obstacle is the only way to get there.

We know many of you, and you know us. Our organizations represent tens of thousands across the state. We are your neighbors. Many of us have seen firsthand the effect of COVID cases. The numbers are most definitely real, and the consequences are too often deadly serious and heartbreaking. Each of us have adopted safety measures to protect our own teams and keep our businesses operating. We have distributed masks, placed barriers and altered working practices. We can tell you from our own experience, consistently following simple safety practices can prevent infections and keep businesses running.

We ask you to join us. We want to save Idaho jobs. We want to make sure our children can be safely reunited in person with their great Idaho teachers. We want to keep our restaurants and small businesses open. Most important, we want to keep everyone healthy and safe.

We know you want that, too.

The fastest way to that future is to wear a face covering in public. Be vigilant about hand washing. By thinking carefully about your daily interactions, practicing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, you can help protect your family and your neighbors.

If you’re still skeptical about COVID-19, we ask you to be open to change.

Medical professionals here and nationwide are still working to understand the health effects associated with COVID-19, and the long-term effects are not yet known. And each new case extends the pandemic.

Every person who contracts the virus creates a habitat for it to flourish and spread to others. Protecting yourself protects others, and it protects Idaho, a place we all cherish.

Idahoans are at our best when we join together against a common foe. Let’s agree to unite against this virus for the good of our communities. The actions we all need to take are not hard, and they shouldn’t be political. Small sacrifices today can make for a much better tomorrow.

Do your part. We commit to you that we’ll keep doing ours.

Bradley Wiskirchen, CEO, Kount

Charlene Maher, President & CEO, Blue Cross of Idaho

Chris Roth, President & CEO, St. Luke’s

Garrett Lofto, President & CEO, J.R. Simplot Company

George Mulhern, CEO & Chairman, Cradlepoint

Lisa Grow, President & CEO, Idaho Power

Nate Jorgensen, CEO, Boise Cascade

Odette Bolano, President & CEO, Saint Alphonsus

Sandeep Sahai, CEO, Clearwater Analytics

Sanjay Mehrotra, President & CEO, Micron

Tom Werner, President & CEO, Lamb Weston

Vivek Sankaran, President & CEO, Albertsons

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