Idaho Offers Four Hours Paid Leave for State Employees Getting COVID Shot

Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced on Wednesday that state employees can receive four hours of paid leave if they get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Republican leader also noted that the "new benefit comes at no additional cost to Idaho taxpayers."

The governor made the announcement on social media. On Twitter, Little wrote he had informed state employees on Wednesday morning they can take advantage of the deal while getting the "safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine."

This morning, I informed Idaho state employees we're offering them a new benefit – four hours of paid leave if they have received or choose to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine! The new benefit comes at no additional cost to Idaho taxpayers.

— Brad Little (@GovernorLittle) June 16, 2021

He posted the same message on Facebook, though he also included two additional sentences. The lines read: "I encourage private employers to consider offering their employees the same benefit. The COVID-19 vaccine is our best tool to protect jobs, strengthen our workforce, and save lives."

According to Idaho's coronavirus information page, 35 percent of state residents are already fully vaccinated. That percentage represents a little more than 632,000 Idahoans. The information page also said the state has more than 193,800 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 2,116 deaths related to the virus.

Little has been an outspoken proponent of people getting vaccinated against the virus, and he has also encouraged people to wear face masks.

A number of other states have offered incentive programs in hopes of more people getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Connecticut offered vaccinated residents a free drink in May at over 150 participating restaurants; Kentucky gave coupons for lottery tickets, as well as a dessert from White Castle and a doughnut from Krispy Kreme; Maine residents who got vaccines were eligible for an outdoor incentive program that included fishing and hunting licenses; New Jersey enticed residents with free beer at breweries; and New York state gave out lottery tickets, while New York City offered free admission to popular destinations such as the Bronx Zoo and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

Several other states also rewarded those who got vaccines, with many doling out lottery tickets or similar money drawings.

Currently, about 52 percent of Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, while 44 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the most recent data from the Mayo Clinic. President Joe Biden said his goal is for 70 percent of Americans to be at least partially vaccinated by July 4.

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Idaho Gov. Brad Little Repeal Mask Ban
Idaho Governor Brad Little speaks during a press conference in Boise, Idaho, on October 1, 2020. On Wednesday, Little offered Idaho state employees four hours of paid leave if they get a COVID-19 vaccine. Darin Oswald/Associated Press