State moving to Stage 4 of reopening plan after months in Stage 3

Posted at 3:28 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 17:48:35-04

Idaho will move to Stage 4 of the state's reopening plan after staying in the previous stage for months.

The state will move to Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds plan Tuesday based on a decrease in COVID-19 cases in Idaho and guidance from local health officials and the CDC. The decision to move out of Stage 3, where Idaho has been since February, comes from data showing Idaho has the 11th lowest case rate in the country and a positivity rate of 4.3%.

“Our overall numbers are very encouraging, and we are confident about our decision to move the state to Stage 4,” said DHW Director Dave Jeppesen. “We’re currently seeing some of the best numbers we have seen since last summer. We think the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the main reasons for that, and we want to encourage people who haven’t yet gotten the vaccine to consider choosing to get the vaccine to allow things to continue to improve.”

Related: When will Idaho move to Stage 4 of reopening?

Stage 4 guidelines recommend vaccines and continued mask-wearing. Face coverings are still mandatory at long-term care facilities.

Gatherings of any size are allowed if they adhere to physical distancing and sanitizing requirements. This is an increase from the maximum of 50 person gatherings allowed in Stage 3.

“Thanks to the actions of Idahoans in protecting their neighbors and getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Idaho’s schools and businesses have stayed open longer than almost every other state and we have prevented a crisis in our health care system. The move to Stage 4 signals to Idahoans that we have been open, and we will stay open, and we must keep up the good work,” Gov. Brad Little said.

Vaccines are encouraged and everyone 16 and older can get the vaccine in Idaho. There are no out-of-pocket costs to anyone who gets the vaccine. The FDA has authorized the vaccine for those 12 to 15 years old and CDC recommendations are expected later this week, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

You can read the full Stage 4 guidelines below: