Gov. Little details goals to expand COVID-19 testing in Idaho

FILE - In this March 17, 2020 file photo, Ashley Layton, an LPN at St. Luke's Meridian Medical Center, communicates with a person before taking swab sample at a special outdoor drive-thru screening station for COVID-19 in Meridian, Idaho. The co-chair of Gov. Brad Little's COVID-19 Testing Task Force says Idaho's long-term success in reopening the state during the pandemic hinges on understanding what the state and individuals have to do to defeat the coronavirus. Jim Souza is the chief medical officer for St. Luke's Health System. He says the virus is easily destroyed with soap and water or alcohol wipes, but it does a good job hiding in the population. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman via AP, file)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little says ramping up COVID-19 testing and tracing is key to Idaho’s containment strategy and authorities hope be consistently testing 2% of the state’s population in the coming months.

Little spoke Friday at a news conference where a task force released recommendations for expanding testing in the state. Among the goals are expanding testing across all populations, including symptomatic and asymptomatic people, and increasing spending on local testing capacity.

The state has in the past weeks struggled to increase testing. Elke Shaw-Telloch, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare administrator for public health, said federal officials recommend testing 2% of the population each month.

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