Idaho Moves Statewide Into Its Phase 4, Meaning ‘100% Of Businesses’ Can Reopen, Governor Says

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, left, announces stricter guidelines for social interactions to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, and also livestreaming the discussion, at his office in Boise on March 18, 2020. CREDIT: Keith Ridler/AP
File photo. Idaho Gov. Brad Little, left, announces stricter guidelines for social interactions to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, and also livestreaming the discussion, at his office in Boise on March 18, 2020. CREDIT: Keith Ridler/AP

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Idaho’s Statewide Coronavirus Information Page

State’s Four-Phase Reopening Plan, “Idaho Rebounds” 

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Idaho Gov. Brad Little has announced his state will move to the final phase of its reopening strategy, beginning Saturday.

“One hundred percent of businesses will be able to open their doors as we enter stage four of our Idaho Rebounds plan.”

“That means senior living centers and other congregate facilities can resume under strict protocols to protect residents and workers,” Little said.

Visitors can go see loved ones in those facilities. Night clubs and large sporting venues can reopen. Non-essential travel can continue to areas that are accepting visitors and which don’t have coronavirus transmission problems.

Little says, while this is good news, there are warning signs.

“We almost did not make it to stage four this week. Despite our incredible progress, there are still some in Idaho who are not practicing measures to keep themselves and others safe,” Little said.

State epidemiologist Christine Hahn says Idaho has experienced recent increases in the numbers of health care workers who contracted the virus. She says they haven’t caught it at work, but out in the community.

And she says bed availability in intensive care units has decreased. She says that’s not because of COVID, but because more people are having medical procedures done that require short hospital stays.

The Associated Press reported Thursday:

Health officials say the state’s testing ability has jumped to 10,000 people a day and could hit 20,000 if needed. Officials also said the ability to do contact tracing, a voluntary program for those contacted, has increased significantly. Stage 4 is scheduled to end on June 26. The state has set up protocols for what will be allowed after that, though until a vaccine for the virus is found physical distancing and face coverings would likely remain. Idaho has 3,260 confirmed cases of the virus that have caused 85 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Copyright 2020 Spokane Public Radio. To see more, visit spokanepublicradio.org

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