IDAHO FALL, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - "Idaho was one of the last states in the country to have a positive test for coronavirus, and no surprise to me, due to your actions, we are one of the first states to reopen," said Governor Brad Little.
Stage one of governor Little's plan to reopen Idaho begins Friday. It allows places of worship, daycares, organized youth activities and camps to open only if they adhere to Idaho and CDC protocol.
"Until we have vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19, safety, and prevention should be our highest priority," Little said.
Little said stage one replaces the stay at home order that expired on Thursday and that it is enforceable. Still, he said he hopes community pressure will encourage other businesses to stay closed until it is their turn to open in his four stage plan.
"This is the right thing to do. It's the right thing to do for your community. It's the right thing to do for your customers. If every business in the state is closed and only one opens it's not fair to the rest of those businesses," Little said.
Governor Little also announced a $300 million grant program for small businesses. They will receive up to ten thousand dollars. Qualifications for the grant are expected to come out next week.
"We will be able to support more than 30,000 of Idaho's smallest businesses. Many of these businesses are the backbone of their communities. No other state in the country is putting up a larger amount from the coronavirus relief to help small businesses with cash support," Little said.
As we move through the stages, progress will be evaluated every two weeks. Depending on the data, we could move all the way back to the beginning of the plan, or restart the stage we are in.
"Everyone must do their part to ensure we can progress to stage two. By wearing face coverings in public places, washing their hands frequently and following the other guidelines for all stages," Little said.
For more information on the cash grant program for small businesses, click here.