Idaho will go back to a modified Stage 3 of the state's Idaho Rebounds plan, Gov. Brad Little announced Monday.
The state will go into the modified stage due to increasing COVID-19 spread and capacity constraints at hospitals throughout Idaho, Little announced.
"Hospitals throughout the state are quickly filling up or are already full with COVID-19 patients and other patients, and way too many healthcare workers are out sick with COVID-19," Little said in a statement.
Under the modified Stage 3:
- Indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people or less
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to a 25% capacity
- Physical distancing requirements are in place for gatherings of all types
- Long-term care facilities will not be allowed to operate without requiring masks on their premises
- There will be seating only at bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Nightclubs can only operate as bars.
- Employers should continue to protect at-risk employees by allowing telework or by making special accommodations for these individuals in the workplace.
- All individuals and businesses should follow recommended protocols for minimizing the transmission of the virus.
Governor Little said the move back does not mean the economy is on lockdown. In-person church services will not end and travel is not restricted in and out of the state. The new order also does not mean schools should go back to full remote learning.
"We put millions of dollars and substantial effort toward the safe operation of schools to ensure they are safe places to learn and work," said Governor Little. "The state rolled out a Back to School Framework in the summer, providing local school leaders a blueprint for safe opening. Our students fall too far behind when they're away from their teachers and classmates. We must continue to prioritize safe in-person learning for students across Idaho."
The new "Stay Healthy" order says businesses and governmental agencies may continue operations at physical locations in the State of Idaho. Indoor gatherings, both public and private, must adhere to the requirements within the order. Customers at bars, nightclubs and restaurants must remain seated. Face coverings are required at long-term care facilities.
The order is effective as of 12 a.m. on October 27 and will be in effect until it's extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing by the Governor and Director. For more information on Idaho's reopening plan, click here.