‘We’re going to be here for you’: Idaho shop owners excited to reopen
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho– Idaho will take its first major step on the path forward Friday when the first phase of reopening the economy begins.
The first of four stages starts Friday and runs to May 15th. It allows for places of worship, daycares, and most retail shops to open with strict guidelines.
Beth Rich Brown is excited to reopen her downtown Coeur d’Alene shop Mix It Up. Customers have only been doing curbside pickup and online orders for the last several weeks. She’s grateful for the sales, but can’t wait to see her dedicated customers in person.
“Mix It Up is happy and people have really missed happy in this whole thing that’s happened,” Brown said.
Republican Governor Brad Little’s five-week stay-at-home-order will expire as his new order goes into place Friday. He hopes the four stage plan will help the state recover from the damage brought on by COVID-19.
Advancing through each stage will take considerable involvement from residents. The governor said people are still expected to wear a face covering in public, observe social distancing, not engage in gatherings, and wash their hands often. Dining inside restaurants is still prohibited. Gyms, nightclubs, bars, and salons will also remain closed for now.
If cases don’t spike, the state will proceed with the next phase of the plan every two weeks. The governor said in a virtual press conference Thursday he isn’t afraid to reverse action if the virus spikes.
“The issue is to open up the economy as fast as possible maintaining consumer confidence and maintain our healthcare capacity,” Little said. “If, heaven forbid, we had a big spike in cases, yes, the possibility is that we could move backwards.”
That’s why continuing to practice good hygiene and social distance is key. In Brown’s shop, she’ll keep the door propped open and have sanitizer. She hopes her customers will be thoughtful while shopping in-store.
“We’re asking people to take personal responsibility for social distancing inside the store,” Brown said. “So if you come in and someone’s looking at the candles and you want to look at the candles, then go look at something else.”
The first phase of reopening also mandates people coming to visit Idaho from out-of-state self-quarantine for 14 days. The governor hopes that discourages people from taking unnecessary visits to the Gem State.
While phase one isn’t a comprehensive restart, it’s enough to give many people, like Brown, hope for the future.
“We just want people to know that we’re going to be here and if you just want to come through and walk through the store to find a little bit of happy, we’re going to be here for you,” Brown said.
COPYRIGHT 2022 BY KXLY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.