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State clarifies what’s OK under stay-home order

| March 29, 2020 1:25 AM

Gov. Brad Little on Saturday offered more guidance on some essential services and other activities that are allowed during his three-week, stay-home state order issued Wednesday in response to the coronavirus.

The move orders all residents to stay home, with only those who work for businesses and programs that provide essential services being exempt.

The governor’s order defined “essential” businesses as: Grocery stores; restaurants that provide drive-thru, carry-out and delivery; gas stations; utilities; financial institutions; health care facilities; residential and home-based care; veterinary services; hardware stores; limited child care for essential workers; infrastructure.

But many people are still uncertain who is allowed to be out and work, and who isn’t.

“We are still receiving quite a few questions so this might help clear those up,” wrote Katherine Hoyer, Panhandle Health District spokeswoman, in an email.

One woman wrote to a Press correspondent, asking about two local businesses still selling products to the public in spite of being a “non-essential” business.

“Have you heard of other businesses staying open in some capacity? We are trying to figure out what we can and can’t do after the governor’s declaration Wednesday,” she wrote.

In attempt to clear up those questions, Little and the state offered these questions and answers:

Churches

May clergy or church members get together to stream or record religious services?

Yes. The recording or streaming should be done by the minimum number of individuals necessary, following Social Distancing Requirements. I am grateful to Idaho’s religious leaders for caring for the spiritual needs of their congregations during this challenging time.

Golf

Is golf permitted under the self-isolation order?

Golf is an outdoor activity permitted by the self-isolation order, but it must be done in compliance with the Social Distancing Requirements. Golf courses and golfers should use the following recommendations:

• No congregating of people whatsoever — courses should take all steps necessary to prevent congregating including removing chairs and tables, putting up signs (such as the Governor’s COVID-19 poster) and dispersing any groups that form.

• Clubhouse, restaurant and bar remain closed — no indoor services, food, etc.

• Course must thoroughly clean, with disinfectant, all carts and equipment before and after each use.

• No more than one person in a cart except for members of the same household.

• Take steps to avoid removing the pin from the hole, or share clubs or equipment, etc.

Logging and milling of timber

Are logging, forestry, wood products manufacturing, and paper manufacturing businesses considered essential infrastructure and allowed to continue?

Yes. The Order to Self-Isolate for the State of Idaho specifically incorporates by reference CISA Guidance issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the United States Homeland Security on March 19, 2020. The CISA Guidance includes “workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper and other wood products.”

Car dealerships

Can car dealerships continue to operate under the stay-home order?

The order specifically allows “auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities.” Automobile sales should be allowed but must be done in compliance with the Social Distancing Requirements, and avoiding causing congregation of people.

Recreation

Can non-residents recreate in Idaho, and can Idahoans recreate across the state?

Yes, but those considering doing so should consider carefully before traveling outside of your home county. The order allows individuals to “engage in outdoor activity” which includes but is not limited to walking, hiking, bicycling, or running. However, people recreating should follow these recommendations:

• Day trips near your home are strongly encouraged — such as hiking and biking. Minimize your travel distance from your home and spread out. If a trailhead is congested, consider finding another trail or going during off-peak hours.

• Check before you go. Many campgrounds and trails may be closed. If you are going hunting or fishing, make sure to check Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Seasons and Rules.

• Bring all supplies you will need from home to avoid putting unnecessary strain on local grocery stores or convenient stores that serve the local population. Make sure you pack out all your trash and leave your space clean.

Hotels

Are hotels allowed to continue to operate?

Yes, but for limited purposes. The Order allows for “Hotels, motels, shared rental units, and similar facilities for purposes of housing, or to quarantine, those individuals exempted [within the Order].”

Real estate appraisers

Can real estate appraisers continue to do appraisals?

Yes. Social Distancing Requirements apply and should be followed carefully.

Public meetings

Are public meetings prohibited? Can I attend public meetings via smart phone?

Public meetings are allowed, but must be done telephonically in a way that allows the public to attend the meeting by phone or other telecommunication method (e.g., streaming). All requirements of the Open Meetings Law continue to apply with the exception of the requirement to provide an in-person venue to attend the meeting.