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Stay-at-home order to expire Friday as Idaho moves into first stage of reopening plan

Gov. Brad Little says the state has "exceeded our hurdles" to move into Stage One.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's statewide stay-at-home order will run out Friday, May 1 and will not be extended, Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced at a Thursday press conference.

The governor said Idaho has "exceeded our hurdles" to move into the first stage of reopening, which would see some restrictions lifted and more businesses allowed to open their doors again.

But Little warned that a spike in coronavirus cases could freeze Idaho at Stage One or even send the state sliding backward.

"Idahoans still need to be vigilant to stay healthy as we continue to reopen our economy," he said. "Everyone must do their part to make sure 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."

RELATED: 'Most of the state will be open by the end of June': Here's when Idaho bars, churches and more could reopen under Gov. Little's plan

Under the Stage One order, which replaces the governor's stay-at-home order signed March 25, most retail-type businesses will be allowed to reopen as long as they follow sanitation and social distancing rules. Daycares, churches, and youth activities will also be allowed to open.

Vulnerable Idahoans and those with health conditions that could make them more susceptible to a severe case of COVID-19 are encouraged to continue staying home as much as possible, and everyone in the state is asked to avoid gatherings and minimize any non-essential travel. 

People coming into Idaho from other states will still be required to quarantine for 14 days under this stage. 

RELATED: Taking a closer look at coronavirus demographics across Idaho: All deaths are over age 50

Gyms, salons, bars, and the dine-in areas of restaurants will remain closed, although takeout, drive-thru, and delivery are allowed. 

"I want to reiterate - we can only reopen our economy successfully if we can demonstrate a downward decline in severe cases and meet other criteria," Little said. "It is imperative that individuals take personal responsibility by limiting their exposure to others and maintaining good hygiene."

The sanitation and distancing guidelines by which businesses will have to abide are available here.

Little also announced $300 million in new Idaho Rebound grants to help small businesses struggling with the sudden drop in revenue. 

RELATED: 30 million people have sought US jobless aid since virus hit

Small businesses are eligible for up to $10,000 each in cash assistance. For details and more information on how to apply, click here. 

"No other state in the country is putting up a larger amount in coronavirus relief funds to help small businesses with cash support," Little said.

Stage One is expected to last for two weeks, with officials aiming for Idaho to move forward into the next stage by May 16. Information about what will be allowed open under each stage is available here. 

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At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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