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Central District Health moves Ada County schools to 'yellow' alert level

The decision opens the door for students to return to classrooms in person, and allows bars in Boise to reopen.

BOISE, Idaho — Note: The video above is from before Central District Health announced their decision.

Central District Health dropped schools in Ada County from a red alert level for coronavirus infection to the yellow level, opening the door for students to return to in-person learning. 

West Ada, Boise and Kuna school districts are now in the yellow category, along with all schools in Boise County and Elmore County. Schools in Valley County, where the transmission rates are lower, are in the green category.

RELATED: Ada County schools await Central District Health's coronavirus category update

The change means that students in Boise and West Ada schools, which elected to start the year entirely online, may be allowed back in the classroom. School officials for both districts have said they would consider adding in-person options once the county was no longer deemed at the red level. Kuna students have already been allowed to return in person.

Children will likely be allowed back under a hybrid model, meaning they will spend part of the week physically in the school building and part remote learning from home.

The decision will also allow bars in Boise to reopen, under the condition that they put specific coronavirus prevention measures in place.

RELATED: What needs to happen for bars in Ada County to reopen

A group of ten Boise bars petitioned the health district last week for permission to reopen their doors. Most bars have been closed since June, although some breweries and establishments that serve food were allowed to remain open. 

The yellow category designation also means that school sports practices will be allowed to resume.

Under Central Health District's guidance, schools in the yellow category - which is used to describe "minimal to moderate community transmission" - are still urged to encourage social distancing and use of face coverings, communicate regularly with public health officials, and come up with a plan to meet the needs of staff and students who are medically vulnerable or elderly. 

RELATED: West Ada School Board approves return-to-play plan for sports

Check back for updates.

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