Gov. Little announced staged reopening process is underway in Idaho

Posted at 10:30 AM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 15:57:12-04

BOISE, Idaho — Governor Little announced a plan for a staged reopening process for Idaho's economy in Idaho. A group of business leaders is making up the Governor’s Economic Rebound Advisory Committee. The committee will provide recommendations to Little in support of recovery for Idaho.

“Idaho will be better positioned for a strong economic rebound because of the difficult changes we are making in the short-term,” Governor Little said. “Like everyone, I want our economy back up and running as soon as possible, but we simply cannot open everything all at once and reverse the good work we have done collectively over the past month to slow the spread of coronavirus. We have a plan to reopen our economy in stages, consistent with direction from the President.”

A new website is available now called Idaho Rebounds: Our Path to Prosperity. The reopening plan follows CDC guidance, according to Governor Little. The plan will occur over four stages and there is specific criteria for Idaho to meet before moving on to the next stage.

Re-evaluation against criteria will happen every two weeks to determine the practicality of moving to the next stage or reopening. The next stage will only happen if there is no significant increase in cases and criteria remain met.

During all stages, people should continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene, wear face masks in public places, stay home when sick and disinfect surfaces and objects regularly. Employers should maintain social distancing requirements for employees and customers, provide sanitation and ensure frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces and identify how PPE like masks and gloves may be required by employees, vendors and/or customers.

Retail stores and places of worship will open in the first stages of the plan. Restaurant dining rooms can reopen in stage two and bars and nightclubs in stage four. Salons and indoor gyms can reopen in stage two if business protocols are met. Governor Little said in the press conference most of Idaho will be open at the end of June.

When Governor Little was asked about school, he said the intent is to get back in the classroom in the fall. There is nothing in the new criteria that says schools cannot reopen now.

Idaho is still under a statewide stay-home order until April 30. Governor Little will make an announcement next week about whether Idaho has met the criteria to enter into the next stage of reopening.