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Boise-area bar owners ask permission to reopen; Health district to consider

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A group of ten bar owners asked the Central District Health Dept. to reconsider its shutdown order for their establishments. Now, the health district’s board says it will consider it.

The petition says the order causes an “undue unnecessary, inappropriate and overreaching hardship upon owners, employees and others with an economic interest” in the bars and nightclubs.

The owners of Tom Grainey’s, Silly Birch, Whiskey Bar, Fireside Inn, Atlas, Torch Lounge, Torch 2, Jim’s Alibi, End Zone, Mulligans, Olympic, The Cactus and 8th St. Karma all signed on to the petition.

The health district ordered bars across the county to close after a spike in COVID-19 cases it said had roots in some downtown Boise and Meridian bars.

The bar owners say they will institute COVID screening for employees, limit entries to one door, require face coverings, add a bouncer/security to enforce social distancing and boost sanitization.

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For customers, the bars would encourage outside seating, close down bar tops, and require customers to sit at tables. The bars would also close dance floors and arrange tables in a socially distant pattern. Customers would also have to go through a COVID-19 screening. Lastly, the bar owners say they would institute procedures if an employee or guest tested positive for COVID.

CDH’s board of commissioners will hold a special meeting and hearing on Thursday at 5:15pm. They will then take a vote to approve the petition, require modifications, or reject it.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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