Corona Virus Public Health Emergency Timeline

*** See timeline discrepancy at the bottom

January 19, 2020

Typhoid Tom walks into an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Washington with flu symptoms.  He tells them he just returned from Wuhan, China and tells the clinician that he read a CDC alert about a novel coronavirus outbreak in China.  The local and state health departments were notified.  Washington state Department of Health notified CDC Emergency Operations Center.  Case Report:






January 20, 2020

The CDC confirmed that Typhoid Tom tested positive for 2019-nCoV

Case Report:







January 30, 2020

LA Times  reported that the WHO declared a global public health emergency







January 31, 2020

HHS Secretary Alex Azar declares a national public health emergency







February 29, 2020

Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-05 declaring that a state of emergency existed in all counties in the state of Washington.  He directed the Washington State Department of Health and the Washington State Military Department Emergency Management Division under the authority of the Adjutant General Washington consider the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan operational.







March 4, 2020







March 4 (con’t)

Idaho Governor Little announced the creation of a team to assist in Idaho’s preparation for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  He also announced a new website to check for updates.



Little’s Corona Virus Working Group


Corona virus information website







March 6, 2020

In a press release it was announced that the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved Governor Little’s request to transfer $2 million to the Governor’s Emergency Fund to help with Idaho’s response to the 2019 novel corona virus (COVID- 19).  In addition, Idaho was guaranteed $4,568,000 in federal funds after Congress approved Trump’s supplemental spending for coronavirus preparedness and response.







March 11, 2020

The World Health Organization announced that worldwide detection of the coronavirus (COVID-19) had progressed to the level of a pandemic including in the United States.  Source: Governor Little’s Proclamation, March 13, 2020. 







March 13, 2020

President Donald Trump issued a Proclamation declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease







March 13, 2020

Idaho Governor Brad Little signed a “proactive” emergency declaration to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Idaho.  [There were no cases of COVID in Idaho at the time of the declaration.]  The declaration activated the Idaho Emergency Operations Plan and made available state Emergency Disaster Funds.









March 13, 2020

The Idaho Press announced that the first case of COVID disease was found in Idaho.







March 22, 2020

Central District Health announced confirmation of “community spread” when a new coronavirus case was discovered in Blaine County after a confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 19, 2020. The county was put under a shelter-in-place order by Idaho H&W.







March 25, 2020

Governor Little issued a proclamation amending his March 13, 2020 proclamation stating that “there exists a condition of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the state of Idaho.  He found that there exists and “extreme emergency” within the State of Idaho.


Press Release:


The Idaho Office of Emergency Management, a part of the Idaho Military Division, is the key emergency response planner and coordinator for interagency preparedness in Idaho.







April 1, 2020

Governor Brad Little suspended the state’s election law and mandated voting by mail for both the Primary and Consolidated Elections based upon his declaration of a state of emergency in Idaho.







April 2, 2020

Governor Little suspends rules to increase access to telehealth, ease licensing for medical professionals fighting coronavirus.







April 9, 2020

President Donald Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the state of Idaho making federal funds available to the state for the pandemic retroactive to January 20, 2020.







April 9, 2020



April 9 (con’t)

FEMA response to Trump’s declaration of a major disaster for the State of Idaho.  (FEMA-4534-DR dated April 9 posted May 5th retroactive to January 20, 2020 .  Legal authorities: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121.


[Note: Sidebar FEMA Docket FEMA-2020-0001 All states and territories.  A fellow researcher produced a formatted list for easy searching and document access.  ]


Posted by FEMA on May 4, 2020 Federal Register No. 2020-09513


Michael O’Hare was appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer







April 22, 2020

Governor Brad Little issues an extension of the emergency proclamations issued on March 13, 2020 and March 25, 2020.  Little cites President Donald Trump’s April 9, 2020 declaration that a major disaster exists in Idaho.






Archive Proclamations and Executive Orders - August 2021



Timeline Discrepancy


Formally the public health emergency began with HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s declaration on January 31, 2020. Donald Trump’s proclamation declaring a national emergency announced on March 13, 2020 was made effective beginning March 1, 2020. 


When Trump approved Idaho’s declaration of emergency for FEMA funds, the effective date was made January 20, 2020 – same date the CDC confirmed the diagnosis of the first case found in Washington state.


The discrepancy is in Tennessee.   Tennessee activated their State Health Operations Center on January 16, 2020 – four days before the CDC tested and confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S.,members%20of%20the%20Employment%20...%203%20Gov.%20


Oakridge National Laboratories is in Tennessee.  They’ve changed their website so I had to go to the Internet archive to retrieve their info on Human Genome Project.  Notice they were involved in gene therapy and pharmacogenomics.    . . . Just saying



Tennessee COVID Timeline