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Idaho restrictions to remain; governor wants schools open

Idaho Gov. Brad Little made a stop Thursday  July 23 in Twin Falls. He says there are too many coronavirus infections and Idaho will remain in the fourth and final stage of his plan to reopen during the pandemic for at least another two weeks. Little made the announcement Thursday morning.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little made a stop Thursday July 23 in Twin Falls. He says there are too many coronavirus infections and Idaho will remain in the fourth and final stage of his plan to reopen during the pandemic for at least another two weeks. Little made the announcement Thursday morning.(KMVT/Rachel Fabbi)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 11:25 AM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Governor Brad Little announced Idaho will continue to stay in stage 4, for now the 5th time Thursday.

Little says we are in a better place economically than we were in March, as more people go back to work, however, as of Wednesday, about 11.1% Of people tested are found positive for coronavirus. The state’s goal was to get that rate below 5 percent.

He also says the statewide metrics are looking better, saying there is a “sufficient number of health care workers, PPE, ventilators and ICU beds.”

“We’re meeting the demands for testing our health care workers, we’re seeing downward trends in overall case counts as well as our percent positivity rates. Emergency room visits for those with COVID like symptoms are on the decline,” Little said.

Little says we do need to bring down the statewide number of hospitalizations, but also says that some hot spots are seeing the benefits of some precautions and measurements local government officials are taking, to reduce the rate of spread.

He also emphasized the millions of dollars being spent to make sure schools can safely reopen this fall, including $10 million for additional masks, gloves, sanitizer and separation glass.

Idaho State Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield also reminded parents that their priority is to get “students connected with their teachers in the most practical and safe way possible. There is an expectation that that learning will take place and the expectation includes a higher level of support for students and for staff than what we saw in the spring, leading up to the soft closure.”

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