Thursday, July 9, 2020
Breweries and Movie Theaters Can Reopen As Idaho Moves to Stage Three
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The marquee at Boise’s Egyptian Theatre reminds Idahoans to continue wearing masks as the virus is still out there.
   
Friday, May 29, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Idaho will transition into the third phase of its four-stage plan to reopen the state on Saturday, May 30, despite spikes in coronavirus cases this past week.

That means bars and breweries will be allowed to reopen, although they will not be able to host dancing. And people will be able to gather in groups as large as 50.

Movie theaters will also be allowed to reopen—their timetable for reopening moved up from Stage Four.

 
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While Blaine County held stead at 512 cases of coronavirus, the state gained 38 new cases for a total of 2,769, says Paul Ries.
 

Gov. Brad Little encouraged Idahoans to continue working from home if they can. Non-essential travel can resume, but anyone traveling from an area of high community spread should quarantine for 14 days. Visitors entering the state no longer need to quarantine unless coming from a hot spot.

Still closed: Large concert venues, sports venues and visits to long-term care facilities and jails. These restrictions are expected to be lifted in Stage Four, which is scheduled for June 13.

Idahoans are still urged to physically distance and wear masks when in public places.

Idaho averaged 28.8 new cases of coronavirus a day from May 13 to 26, thanks in great part to clusters in food processing facilities in Jerome, Burley and the Treasure Valley. That’s more than the 24.7 new cases per day during the previous two weeks.

But state epidemiologist, Dr. Christine Hahn said the state has seen a downward trend of people seeking emergency room treatment for COVID-19 symptoms. And hospitals currently have ample masks, gowns, ventilators and intensive care beds to take care of COVID and other patients.

State officials have released a Guideline for Gatherings as the state prepares to transition to Stage Three.

Gatherings or events should be hosted outdoors, if possible. There should be adequate hand sanitizing opportunities and physical distancing, as well as frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces.

Idaho public health experts recommend that organizers postpone gatherings that might draw participants from areas with substantial community spread. They also suggest organizers might postpone gatherings that might include high-risk populations, such as those over the age of 65 and people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease and diabetes.

Any money exchange should not involve cash transactions. Entrances and exits should be limited and traffic flow should be one way when feasible.

The City of Ketchum has returned tables and chairs to Ketchum Town Square. But users are asked to bus their tables and wipe tables and chairs down for themselves and the next person.

Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw says he has also asked the City Council to close down parts of 4th Street between Walnut and Leadville avenues to make more room for public open space.

“With limited visibility on what the future brings, it is hard to make plans,” he acknowledged. “We can worry about the future or we can embrace what we have right now. Without minimizing the great hardship that has befallen many in our community, I would encourage everyone to celebrate what this situation has brought us and not just focus on what it has taken away There is lots to be thankful for.”


 

 

 

 

 

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