Gov. Little moves Idaho back to Stage 3 of reopening plan as cases, hospitalization rates rise

Idaho Gov Brad Little

BOISE, Idaho — Governor Brad Little announced that the entire state of Idaho will move back to Stage 3 of the Idaho Rebounds at midnight on Tuesday.

The state has been in Stage 4 since mid-June, but Little made the move due to rising cases and hospitalization rates across the state.

“Last week, things changed for the worst. Idaho is at a critical juncture, this is unacceptable and we must do more,” Little said.

State officials continue reporting surging infections, with 650 more on Sunday for a total approaching 60,000 along with 573 deaths. The state’s positivity test rate is fourth-worst in the nation, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

Little made reference to North Idaho when making his announcement, noting that Kootenai Health reported being at 99 percent capacity last week. He said hospitals were pausing elective surgeries and were being forced to move non-COVID patients out of state to focus on those with the virus.

“We’ve stated over and over that this is about flattening the curve, slowing the spread of COVID-19” Little said.

Under Stage 3, the following are permitted:

  • Indoor gatherings are restricted to 50 people or fewer
  • Outdoor gatherings are restricted to 25 percent capacity
  • Required seating for bars and nightclubs

Little encouraged Idahoans to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash hands frequently.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.