As Idaho enters stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds plan, Gov. Brad Little announced in a press release that the state narrowly made it, almost not meeting two of the three criteria for reopening.
On Saturday, 100% of businesses will be allowed to open. Businesses will still have to comply with guidelines such as practicing physical distancing, sanitation for protection of workers and customers and conducting telework whenever possible, according to the Idaho Rebounds plan for stage 4.
“Health and the economy are linked. Our economic rebound cannot occur without sufficient healthcare capacity, a healthy population, and consumer and employee confidence,” Little said. “The most effective way to achieve a strong rebound and keep Idaho open is for all of us to step up our personal actions to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors and preserve the sacrifices we all made to get us here.”
The overall case count for COVID-19 increased in early June. However, the number of people in the emergency rooms with COVID-19 related symptoms declined. According to Little, in more than half of Idaho counties, there has been community spread to rural areas where healthcare access is limited.
“Our focus all along has been to prevent our healthcare facilities from being overrun in a short period of time, something that would have devastating effects on lives and our economy,” Little said.
The reopening means that visits to senior living centers, nightclubs, large venues, sporting events, unrestricted staffing for employers and gatherings of any size are now allowed with a strict protocol for employers, workers and customers.
Travel of any kind is allowed to places with low ongoing virus transmission. Although the state is in stage 4, health officials ask that people practice effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 such as wearing protective face gear, practicing social distancing and staying home when sick, according to Little.
Little and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden will be hosting a statewide AARP telephone town hall meeting to provide information and answer questions regarding COVID-19. The call begins at 12 p.m. and will be an hour long. For those wanting to participate, call the toll-free number (866) 767-0637 or register in advance at https://vekeo.com/aarpidaho/.