By Katie Kloppenburg / Idaho News 6
The Gem State is remaining in stage four of the Idaho Rebounds plan after an increase in coronavirus cases. Governor Little made the announcement during a press conference on Thursday.
Idaho did not meet the criteria in order to advance past stage four, meaning the state will remain in the stage for the next two weeks.
(Ada County will remain in the modified stage 3 it entered earlier this week).
“The statewide approach to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 three months ago was the right thing to do. Three months ago, testing and contract tracing was limited, some areas of Idaho faced alarming healthcare capacity restraints, and there wasn’t enough personal protective equipment on hand for businesses and healthcare workers. But from the start, our plan was to eventually transition to a more regional approach in our response, and that’s what we’ve begun,” said Governor Little.
Number of cases rising
The number of reported cases from June 10 through June 25 trended upward, the percent of positive tests from June 8 through June 21 also trended upward. The average percent positive for the previous 14-day period was at 5.12 percent.
The number of healthcare workers reported with the virus from June 10 through June 23 also trended upward. The average number of healthcare workers reported per day was greater than the average of two.
Ada County moved to a modified version of stage three on Monday after a rush of new cases in the Treasure Valley. Idaho moved into stage four on June 11, in which night clubs, movie theaters and senior living centers were allowed to reopen. Gatherings of over 50 people were also allowed in stage four.
“The goal all along has been to ensure our hospitals aren’t overrun with people seriously ill from complications of this highly contagious respiratory disease. You can engage in the economy, safely go back to work, and safely receive care from your medical provider, but you must do so while practicing the proven measures to fight the spread of coronavirus,” said Gov. Little.
Idahoans are urged to:
- Wear protective face coverings in public.
- Keep physical distance of at least 6-feet from others outside your household.
- Wash hands and surfaces regularly.
- Stay home if you are sick.
The seven public health districts across the state are continually evaluating the criteria at the local level and will announce any changes in moving forward, if that becomes necessary to “flatten the curve.”