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Gov. Little OKs additional lifting of restrictions

| May 28, 2020 1:39 PM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. Brad Little said Thursday that Idaho can move to the third stage of his four-stage plan to return to regular activity and recover from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican governor said restrictions will be lifted starting Saturday that will allow bars to reopen and gatherings of up to 50 people as long as precautions are taken. Little also moved up the opening of movie theaters two weeks to Saturday.

Businesses if possible should still have employees work remotely.

Little’s plan for moving through the four stages by the end of June is based on declining infections and testing. The readiness of the health care system is another factor, including available ventilators and beds in intensive care units.

Idaho has 2,731 confirmed cases of the virus and 82 deaths, according to a tally Thursday by Johns Hopkins University.

Stage 3 requires out-of-state visitors from virus hot spots to quarantine for 14 days in an effort to protect the state's tourism and hospitality industry.

Visits to senior living facilities are still prohibited to protect workers and vulnerable residents.