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State reopening continues into Stage 2

by Andrea Nagel
| May 15, 2020 1:11 AM

Yesterday Gov. Brad Little announced Idaho will move into Stage 2 of his reopening plan. In his announcement, he encouraged residents and businesses to move forward safely and continue to adhere to social distancing and sanitation guidelines.

What it means for individuals

• All individuals who are considered high-risk, or who live with a family member who is high-risk, should continue to stay home and limit exposure as much as possible.

• Gatherings, both public and private, can occur if there are fewer than 10 people, and if appropriate physical distancing and precautionary measures are observed.

• Minimize non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.

• For those visiting from out of state, only visitors from areas of high infection rates (or “hot spots”), or those with symptoms will need to self-quarantine for 14 days following their arrival. Other visitors from locations with fewer cases may freely visit the state.

• Continue to wear your face mask in public, keep a safe distance (6 feet) from others, wash your hands frequently, and sanitize frequently-used areas daily.

What it means for businesses

• Employees who can work remotely, or who are considered high-risk, should continue to do so. All other employees can return to work in phases as long as guidelines on social distancing, personal precautions, and proper sanitization are followed.

• Minimize non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.

• Restaurant dining rooms, gyms, hair/beauty salons, and other close contact services can open if they are able to meet the business protocols in the governor’s reopening plan. Restaurants who would like to open their dining areas are also asked to submit their reopening plan to Panhandle Health District. Restaurant reopening plans can be found on the PHD COVID-19 webpage. Once the plan is submitted, a restaurant does not need to wait to open past May 16.

• Small businesses now have access to a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment for their staff through the state. Visit supplies.idaho.gov to place an order. So far, Gov. Little said Idaho has provided $300 million in direct support to Idaho businesses.

Changes to Stage 3

• In addition to introducing Stage 2, Gov. Little also announced a change to Stage 3 of reopening. As long as the state continues to meet its reopening benchmarks, Gov. Little stated bars will now be able to open in Stage 3 rather than Stage 4. Large venues such as sporting venues and movie theaters will continue to remain closed until Stage 4.

• It is exciting to see our state reopen and to be able to start seeing our friends and loved ones face to face again. Just remember, we need to do so responsibly. Wear a mask when possible, wash your hands frequently, and keep a safe distance from others. If you are worried that you have been exposed to COVID-19, stay home and contact your primary care provider or call the Panhandle Health District COVID-19 hotline at 1-877-415-5225.

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Kootenai Health and the Panhandle Health District are actively working to share information about COVID-19 with our community. You can find the latest national updates and ways to protect yourself at cdc.gov/covid19. If you have questions about COVID-19 or think you may have the virus, call the Panhandle Health District COVID-19 hotline at 1-877-415-5225.