BOISE — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has allowed the state’s stay-at-home order to expire and has issued a new “Stay Healthy Order.” On Thursday, the governor said Idaho residents have been successful at reducing infections and deaths because of the coronavirus, and it’s time to start restoring normal activity.
The first of his four-stage plan to recover from the economic damage caused by the virus begins on Friday, May 1. He said 90% of Idaho businesses will be able to open their doors, but they need to still practice social distancing and sanitation protocols. Little says advancing to additional stages of a fully-functioning economy will still take time, will be based on declining cases of COVID-19 and more testing.
The following are the businesses and activities affected by Stage 1 in Idaho:
- Places of worship, daycares, and organized youth activities and day camps can reopen as long as they follow protocols.
- The 14-day self-quarantine for people entering the state will continue, to prevent an influx of out-of-state visitors who could be carrying the virus into Idaho.
- Vulnerable Idahoans should continue to stay at home if they can.
- Employees are encouraged to continue teleworking, and employers should return employees to work in phases.
- Gatherings of any size, both public and private, should be avoided.
- Non-essential travel should be minimized or avoided.
- Dine-in at restaurants must remain closed, but pick-up and delivery options will still available. In the next two weeks, restaurant operators should develop plans to open for dine-in on May 16 during Stage 2. Protocols will be available at Rebound.Idaho.Gov before close of business today.
- Indoor gyms, recreation facilities, and close contact services such as massage, hair and nail salons remain closed but can make plans to reopen on May 16 in Stage 2 if they follow protocols.
- Visits to senior living facilities and congregate facilities such as jails and prisons are prohibited.
- Bars, nightclubs, and large venues must remain closed.
In Idaho, there have been 1,984 confirmed cases and 60 deaths statewide. The rate of positive cases has been declining since April 4.
Also on Thursday, Gov. Little announced a plan to stimulate his state’s economy with $300 million in small grants for small businesses, in what are being called Idaho Rebound cash grants.
Cash grants of up to $10,000 will be available to small businesses throughout the state. Businesses will be eligible if they have not already received an SBA-backed Payroll Protection loan or received less than $10,000 in such a loan.
“No other state in the country is putting up a larger amount from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help small businesses with cash support,” Gov. Little said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. My Economic Rebound Advisory Committee, which I created last week, recommended this step to ensure a path back to prosperity and restore the trajectory we had 70 days ago.”
All recipients of the Idaho Rebound cash grants will be displayed at Transparent.Idaho.Gov.