The State of Idaho moves into Stage 3 of Idaho Rebounds beginning May 30. Gov. Brad Little announced the protocol during a press conference at the Lincoln Auditorium May 28 at 1:30 p.m.
In the conference, Gov. Little mentions there are a total of 82 COVID-19 related deaths in Idaho since March 1 — the day the first coronavirus case appeared in the state.
Gov. Little announced that movie theaters were originally planned to reopen during Stage 4, but will now reopen May 30 during Stage 3.
Stage 3 is set to last until June 12. During that time the state will observe environment and community reactions before entering Stage 4 protocol of Idaho Rebounds.
“Our personal actions are the most effective way to mange the virus and get our economy roaring again,” Gov. Little said in the press conference .
The state advises the public to continue wearing a mask in grocery stores, retail stores, and other areas where public gatherings occur, for courtesy and protection.
The Department of Health and Welfare and Gov. Little analyzed the Opening America plan’s criteria for opening each state. Idaho requires a “Downward trajectory” of influenza-like or COVID-like illnesses and a decreasing number of cases or positive COVID-19 test results, all reported within a 14-day period. In addition, hospital patients need to be treated without the urgency of crisis care and “Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing,” according to the plan.
Statistics show that Idaho at least meets the criteria needed to move into Stage 3.
“We are not operating under what is called crisis standards of care,” Dr. Christine Hahn, Idaho’s State Epidemiologist said during the press conference. “We are very comfortable treating all patients with good standards of care.”
Idaho’s epidemiological criteria and all other criteria will continue to be updated daily.
“I would much rather accelerate things and give people a prior notification than slow things down,” Gov. Little said at the press conference.
Gov. Little expressed his goal to reopen universities, colleges, and K-12 schools with a requirement for every school teacher to take a saliva test as a minimum safety measure. The cost of this testing can be paid through certain carriers such as medicaid and individual businesses. Individuals are also paying for testing as they see the need said Gov. Little during the press conference.
“If the people of Idaho continue like they have in the past, we will continue to stage 4,” Gov. Little said during the press conference.
For more information, or to view the press conference visit Idaho Public Television.