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Stage 3 Stay Healthy Guidelines

View the Stage 3 Stay Healthy Guidelines as a PDF here.

STATE OF IDAHO

IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE

STAY HEALTHY GUIDELINES

February 2, 2021

BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES MAY CONTINUE OPERATIONS AT PHYSICAL LOCATIONS IN THE STATE OF IDAHO.

ALL INDIVIDUALS, BUSINESSES, AND GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES SHOULD ADHERE TO THE PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND SANITATION REQUIREMENTS DESCRIBED IN SECTION 3.

GATHERINGS, BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE, SHOULD ADHERE TO THE REQUIREMENTS IDENTIFIED IN SECTION 1.

PATRONS OF BARS, NIGHTCLUBS, AND RESTAURANTS SHOULD REMAIN SEATED.

FACE COVERINGS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

FACE COVERINGS ARE REQUIRED AT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES.

THE GOVERNOR OF IDAHO AND DIRECTOR OF THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE FIND THAT:

The virus that causes Coronavirus 2019 Disease (“COVID-19”) has resulted in a global pandemic, is present in Idaho, and has infected over 163,000 Idahoans, resulting in 1,735 deaths to date. The virus is easily transmitted, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to protect public health and safety and safeguard the ability of public and private healthcare providers to handle an influx of new patients.

These Stage 3 Guidelines are based on evidence of a decrease in the incident rate per 100,000 of cases of COVID-19 within the State of Idaho; as well as, the advice and input of state epidemiologists, public health experts, and guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”).  These guidelines are also based on the scientific evidence and best practices regarding the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable diseases generally and COVID-19 specifically, and evidence that the age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the state places its citizens at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19.

Some individuals who contract the COVID-19 virus have no symptoms or have mild symptoms, which means they may not be aware they carry the virus. Because people without symptoms can transmit the disease, and because evidence shows the disease is easily spread, gatherings can result in transmission of the virus.

The most recent data from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare indicates that Idaho local public health jurisdictions have reported 24.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, which, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, is the 10th lowest rate in the country.  Idaho’s positivity rate is at 8.3% of tests. On average, the daily number of newly admitted patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 to hospitals in Idaho is declining, but there remains a strain on resources. Currently, 46.8% hospitals are reporting resource stresses, 10.6% are reporting many resource limitations; but none are reporting severe constraints.

Local health districts have traced reported infections to gatherings of people, including school-related events, social gatherings, and recreational events. In the judgment of public health officials, continuing to reduce or limit the size of these gatherings will reduce spread of the virus in communities and protect vulnerable Idahoans. The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer the interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.

The scientific evidence shows that at this stage of the pandemic, it is necessary to continue to slow virus transmission to protect Idaho’s vulnerable population and to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. In consultation with state and federal epidemiologists and healthcare experts, these guidelines are intended to protect the lives and safety of Idahoans, preserve capacity in our healthcare system and slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting public and private gatherings, requesting patrons to remain seated at bars and restaurants, encouraging face coverings in public, and encouraging individuals to maintain physical distancing whenever possible.

STAY HEALTHY RECOMMENDATIONS:

1 – Gatherings. As defined by the CDC, “gathering” means “a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event.”

a. Gatherings should be limited to 50 or fewer people and adhere to the Physical Distancing and Sanitation Requirements in Section 3.

b. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

i. All patrons should remain seated while consuming food or drink or when otherwise remaining on the premises, except for when entering, exiting, or using the restroom;

ii. Seating should be arranged and maintained so that tables are spaced at least six feet apart; and

iii. Nightclubs should continue to operate as a bar, subject to the requirements of this Section.

c. Exemptions.

i. Gatherings for political expression – including all election-related activities – and religious activities are not subject to the provisions of this Section; provided, however, that gatherings for purposes of political expression and religious activities should adhere to the Physical Distancing and Sanitation Requirements in Section 3;

ii. Gatherings exceeding the size and capacity limitations specified in Section 1(a) may receive an exemption if the organizer submits a plan for the gathering to the local health district having authority where the gathering is to occur and signs an attestation agreeing to comply with the provisions of the plan submitted to the local health district. The submitted plan and any exempted gatherings should adhere to the Physical Distancing and Sanitation Requirements in Section 3;

iii. Gatherings as defined in this Section do not include “educational activities.” The term “educational activities” means activities involving students taught by an educator in a school or equivalent setting;

iv. Gatherings as defined in this Section do not include healthcare related events, including but not limited to, events to vaccinate or test multiple individuals;

v. Extra-curricular activities, including athletics, practice, matches, performances and games may continue, including attendance of the participants necessary for the competition to occur, including but not limited to players, instructors, coaches, and officials; or

vi. Attendance by non-participants at extra-curricular activities if the activity complies with a plan administered and enforced by the Idaho State Board of Education. Plans can be found at https://rebound.idaho.gov/. Youth activities that are not within the authority of the Idaho State Board of Education should substantially comply with the Idaho State Board of Education plans and Section 1(c)(ii).

2. Face Coverings.

a. Individuals should wear a face covering over their nose and mouth in indoor public settings or in an outdoor public space where they are unable to maintain six-feet physical distancing from an individual not from their household.

b. Anyone who enters a long-term care facility or campus who is not a resident is required to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times.

c. Exemptions. This does not apply to:

i. Children under the age of 5; 

ii. Any person while consuming food or drink;

iii. Any person with a diagnosed medical condition, mental health condition, or disability which prevents wearing a face covering; or

iv. Any person who is deaf or hard of hearing for purposes of communication, or any person communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing.

3. Physical Distancing and Sanitation Requirements.

a. Individuals not residing within the same household should maintain at least six-foot physical distancing from other individuals whenever possible.

b. Individuals should:

i. Wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer;

ii. Cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands);

iii. Regularly clean high-touch surfaces and not shake hands;

iv. Stay home if sick;

v. Wear face coverings while in public, especially when six-foot distancing is not always possible (e.g., inside businesses); and

vi. Follow additional protocols established in the Governor’s Guidelines for Opening up Idaho published at https://rebound.idaho.gov/.

c. Employers should:

i. Develop and implement measures to ensure employees and customers maintain at least six-foot physical distancing from other individuals whenever possible;

ii. Provide adequate sanitation and personal hygiene for employees, vendors, and patrons;

iii. Frequently disinfect commonly touched and high-traffic areas and regularly clean those areas;

iv. Identify how personal use items such as masks, face coverings, and gloves may be required by employees, vendors, and/or patrons;

v. Provide services while limiting close interactions with patrons;

vi. Identify strategies for addressing ill employees, which should include requiring COVID-19 positive employees to stay at home while infectious, and may include keeping employees who were directly exposed to the COVID-19 positive employee away from the workplace, and the closure of the business until the location can be properly disinfected;

vii. On a case-by-case basis, include other practices appropriate for specific types of businesses such as telework where appropriate, screening of employees for illness and exposures upon work entry, requiring non-cash transactions, etc.; and

viii. Implement additional protocols established in the Governor’s Guidelines for Opening up Idaho and the business-specific protocols published at https://rebound.idaho.gov/

4. The Stay Healthy Order dated December 30, 2020 is hereby rescinded.

SIGNATURES:

___________________________________              Dated: February 2, 2021

BRAD LITTLE, GOVERNOR

STATE OF IDAHO

___________________________________              Dated: February 2, 2021

DAVE JEPPESEN, DIRECTOR

IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

AND WELFARE

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