Gov. Little announced on May 14 his plans for stage two of the state’s approach to reopening segments of the Idaho economy in an effort to balance the ongoing need to slow the rate of the COVID‐19 infection with the critical need to resume economic activity in a reasonable and safe manner.
Under stage two, more services can open provided that they do so safely by following protocols lined out in the Idaho Rebounds guidance. Some of the protocols include: maintain the 6-foot physical distancing requirements for employees and patrons; the ability to provide adequate sanitation and person hygiene for employees, vendors and patrons; frequent disinfection of the business; identifying how face coverings and gloves may be required by employees, vendor and/or patrons; and identifying strategies for addressing ill employees.
Under the guidance, all vulnerable populations should continue to self‐quarantine, and gatherings of both public and private of less than 10 people, where appropriate physical distancing and precautionary measures are observed, may occur. Idahoans should still continue to minimize nonessential travel, and people entering Idaho from another country or from an area outside Idaho with substantial community spread or case rates higher than Idaho are encouraged to self‐quarantine for 14 days.
“As we continue to reopen, it will be important for Southeast Idaho, particularly older and more vulnerable population, to continue to stay home as much as they can,” said Maggie Mann, Southeastern Idaho Public Health director. “Everyone should still continue to practice measures to prevent the spread of COVID‐19 by physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings in public places, staying home if you are sick and washing your hands. This will protect you, your family and your community.”
Visits to senior living facilities and congregate facilities are still prohibited. However, indoor gyms, close contact services such as hair, nail, massage, cosmetic services and restaurant dining rooms may reopen. However, reopening is contingent on their ability to meet protocols set forth by Idaho Rebounds. Bars, nightclubs and large venues, such as movie theaters, are to remain closed. Bars and nightclubs will be able to reopen in stage three on May 30.
“To keep southeast Idaho safe and strong, we need to stay vigilant and continue to work together to suppress the virus in our state. We’ve done it so far. We continue to do it as we take the next cautious steps to a safe, phased reopening,” said Mann.
For more information on the guidelines to reopen Idaho, visit rebound.idaho.gov. For more information regarding COVID‐19, visit siphidaho.org or call the Southeastern Idaho Public Health hotline Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 208-234-5875. You can also watch us live on Facebook Monday through Friday at 11 a.m.