McLean outlines reopening in Boise, signs social distancing order

Posted at 11:02 AM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 13:22:48-04

BOISE, Idaho — This article was written by Don Day with BoiseDev.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean outlined steps the City of Boise will take as part of reopening of businesses and city services.

She lauded Gov. Brad Little’s earlier steps and reopening process. She added a few things for Boise residents.

She will require people in the city stay at least six feet apart. The order she signed goes into effect May 1 and will last 30 days.

She also said the city will roll out online public hearings using Zoom or other technologies.

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“We are blessed in this community not to have the level of impact from COVID that has been seen in other communities because we took action early,” McLean said.

City council leadership supported the plans.

“We appreciate the city team with Mayor McLean’s leadership has been focusing so hard on this and making sure we are safe,” city council president Elaine Clegg said. “We support that effort.”

Folks should spread out in parks, leaders say

McLean stressed that citizens who are congregating in local parks should stay apart.

“First and foremost our residents have to recognize, if you are out in public – please wear a mask,” McLean said. If you are in a place where there are too many people, please disperse and go somewhere else.”

Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said the city continues to educate members of the public to maintain social distancing. A ranger is already at Rhodes Park to give information to people and the city will add another ranger at the Quinn’s Pond area.

“The last thing we want to do is to close the beach areas, but we could do it,” Holloway said. “There’s plenty of room (through several parks) that there really isn’t a need to congregate on the beaches.”

City services to restart

For city workers, leaders will continue telework for many workers, and start to bring some back.

“Where we can, we should continue to allow people to work from home because it will minimize the size of the outbreak throughout our communities,” McLean said. “We will bringing people back slowly.”

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For city employees who do return to facilities, they will be required to wear masks.

McLean said in phase one, which starts tomorrow, the city will focus on maintenance to city facilities. It will open up the Warm Springs Golf Course as well as the first wave at the Boise Whitewater Park.

In the second phase, which could start on May 14th, the city would open up some operations at library facilities.

“We recognize that access to technology is important,” McLean said of the libraries.

The city will also open the Boise Depot for small groups of less than ten people, as well as the city’s dog parks and additional options at bike parks and the Boise Whitewater Park.

“Hopefully we won’t get to the point where we have to move back,” Clegg said. “We want to move our city into recovery and resilience.”

The city said it would detail its plans online.