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Idaho coronavirus updates: May 11-13

Follow our real-time COVID-19 updates for May 11-13 in Idaho as we track the numbers and work together to separate facts from fear.

BOISE, Idaho — For the most recent updates on coronavirus in Idaho, click here.

Editor's note: The above video from Tuesday looks at Boise's reopening plan.

We're closely tracking Idaho's number of deaths and cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as well as what's happening as Idaho slowly begins to reopen

New confirmed COVID-19 Idaho cases and recoveries, closures, reopening plan details and resources to help could be announced every day. We have multiple graphs and timelines looking at the coronavirus case trends in Idaho, including a new graph showing a 14-day average that the State of Idaho is tracking to determine when the Gem State can move to the next reopening stage. 

Idaho COVID-19 latest:  Latest news and daily updates Map of confirmed Idaho cases | Timelines tracking case trends | Gov. Little’s plan to reopen Idaho in stages | COVID-19 resources | Testing sites | Employers hiring Help nonprofits | Full COVID-19 coverage   

Latest coronavirus updates:

For the latest coronavirus updates, click here.

Wednesday, May 13

Note: We'll live stream Idaho Gov. Brad Little's press conference on Stage 2 of the plan to reopen Idaho on Thursday at 1 p.m. on KTVB.COM, our YouTube channel and on KTVB Channel 7.

9:53 p.m. - In case you missed it: We take a look at what stage two of Idaho's reopening plan would look like; A key legal distinction is raising questions about what constitutes a bar and what constitutes a restaurant as Idaho approaches stage two; Health officials say a coronavirus outbreak in Weiser is linked to a family gathering; A Boise strip mall adjusts to life during a pandemic; And, health experts are warning against smoking as a way to fend off coronavirus

5:15 p.m. - Health officials report 21 new cases of COVID-19 in Idaho

The state of Idaho and local health districts are reporting 21 new cases of COVID-19 in Idaho on Wednesday. Statewide, there are now 2,128 cases. The state is reporting an additional 196 "probable" cases. No new deaths were reported on Wednesday, keeping the statewide toll at 69. 1,557 people have recovered from the virus. Check out our interactive map and timelines for a deeper look at Idaho's coronavirus cases.

4:14 p.m. - Malheur County Fair canceled

The Malheur County Fair Board says they have made a difficult decision to cancel the 111th annual Malheur County Fair. This decision was mandated by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's banning events over 100 people through September.

The Junior Sales Committee is working to facilitate a virtual sale for the 4-H and FFA kids in Malheur County to sell their market animals.  

3:10 p.m. - Cluster of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Washington County

Southwest District Health has confirmed a cluster of COVID-19 cases in Washington County. Several of these individuals with confirmed COVID-19 are employed at Fry Foods, Inc. and are also close contacts outside of the workplace.

Southwest District Health staff is working closely with Fry Foods, Inc. The company has been and continues to be very responsive and is taking appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of the staff. 

"Fry Foods has closed their Weiser plant voluntarily. The plant will remain closed until the owners, director and Southwest District Health feel it is in the best interests of the plant's employees and the community," said Douglas Arnold Wold, Fry Foods, Inc. Human Resources Manager.

Epidemiologists have initiated contact investigations to identify the close contacts of the individuals with confirmed COVID-19 and notify them of their potential exposure. Individuals who do not receive a call from the health district have not been named as a close contact and do not have cause for elevated concern. 

You can find out more about Idaho's COVID-19 cases in our interactive map and timelines.

12:54 p.m. - Southwest District Health explains lowering the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Canyon County

The district says "the death was removed from the count after it was identified that the individual was a resident of a different country."

12:38 - Yellowstone to begin first phase of reopening on May 18

Yellowstone National Park will reopen on a limited basis on May 18. The park has been closed to visitors since March 24, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yellowstone has outlined a three-phased plan that initially opens the South and East entrances of Wyoming and limits visitor travel to the lower loop of the park. The lower loop allows visitors to access Lake, Canyon, Norris, Old Faithful, West Thumb, and Grant Village.

Wyoming has lifted out-of-state travel restrictions and has requested the state's entrances open the week of May 18. Montana and Idaho continue to have out-of-state restrictions in place and the park is working closely with these states and counties to open the remaining three entrances as soon as possible.

"The park's goal is to open safely and conservatively, ensure we take the right actions to reduce risks to our employees and visitors, and help local economies begin to recover," said Superintendent Cam Sholly. Our goal is to get the remaining entrances open as quickly and safely as possible."

• Phase 1 will begin on Monday, May 18 at 12:00 p.m. with the opening of the South and East entrances in the state of Wyoming.
• Visitors will be able to access the lower loop of the Grand Loop Road coming in and out of the South and East entrances only.
• Visitors will be able to access restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails and boardwalks, and other Phase 1 facilities that are prepared to open.
• The Montana entrances (North, West, and Northeast) will remain closed.  
• Commercial tour buses will not be allowed in the early phases of opening.
• Overnight accommodations will be unavailable until later in the season.
• Campgrounds, backcountry permits, visitor cabins, additional stores, expanded tours, takeout food service, boating, fishing, and visitor centers will remain closed.
• Hotels, full-service dining, commercial tour buses, and ranger programs will remain closed.

Visitors should come prepared and follow all CDC and local health guidance by practicing good hygiene and social distancing. Face coverings are recommended where social distancing is not possible.

Previously-scheduled road construction projects will continue this summer.

11 a.m. - Tamarack Resort announces phased reopening beginning May 16

Tamarack Resort has received approval from Central District Health for its phased reopening beginning on Saturday, May 16. 

The phased approach prioritizes the health and safety of employees, guests, and homeowners while resuming dining, lodging, and recreation-based activities.  

"Our team has worked hard to reimagine every aspect of the Tamarack experience to ensure the health, safety, and comfort of everyone who will come and play at Tamarack's mountain playground this summer," said Scott Turlington, Tamarack president.

Starting May 16, Tamarack will resume its dining and lodging services and will also open its meadow hiking and biking trails while encouraging appropriate social distancing. 

The Clearwater Coffee Shop and Village Market and Deli are also reopening with enhanced health and safety protocols. 

Construction on The Village at Tamarack will resume, including real estate tours of the Village residential units and the real estate gallery. 

Additional activities will resume on the following dates: 

• May 21: Scenic lift rides on Tamarack Express

• May 22: Waterfront Cabana motorized & non-motorized boat rentals 

• May 28: Lift-served mountain biking (dependent on mid-mountain snow melt) 

• June 6: Tamarack Zipline Tours (dependent on mid-mountain snow melt)

• Mid-June: Guided whitewater rafting trips on the Cabarton stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River. 

Guests are encouraged to visit TamarackIdaho.com for the latest days and hours of operations, and to pre-book excursions. 

The resort encourages all guests planning to visit Tamarack and surrounding mountain communities in Valley County to respect new protocols in place at local businesses and recreation areas – by continuing social distancing, wearing a mask in public, practicing good hand hygiene, and staying home when feeling sick. 

ICYMI: Idaho is just a few days away from Gov. Brad Little's target date of May 16 to move the state into stage two of reopening.  The Boise City Council's plans for reopening the city are largely dependent on what Gov. Brad Little says on Thursday. Read the full story here.

Tuesday, May 12

9:57 p.m. - In case you missed it: A long-term care facility is now caring exclusively for coronavirus patients; Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin says Gov. Brad Little is using law enforcement to 'harass and intimidate private businesses in Idaho'; Minico High School in Rupert is rethinking plans for an in-person graduation ceremony; And, the military is planning flyovers of more than a dozen southern Idaho hospitals as a thank you to healthcare workers.

9:15 p.m. - Idaho reports largest increase in confirmed coronavirus cases since April 23

The state of Idaho and local health districts are reporting 33 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with an additional seven probable cases. The last time the state reached 40 confirmed cases in one day was on April 23. However, the 14-day average ending on Tuesday shows an average of 25.93 new cases per day over the last two weeks. On April 23, the 14-day average was 35.14. That means there has been a downward trend in new cases in recent weeks. You can find out more about Idaho's COVID-19 cases in our interactive map and timelines.

5:20 p.m. - Canyon County coronavirus-related deaths revised

Southwest District Health has revised the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Canyon County to 6 from 7. We've reached out to officials for more information and will report more details as they become available.

11:30 a.m. - Mountain Home Air Force Base and the Idaho Air National Guard to thank first responders in southern Idaho with flyover on Friday

The 366th Fighter Wing will team up with the 124th Fighter Wing for Operation American Resolve. They are saluting Americans serving on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The flyovers will feature A-10 Warthogs from the 124th Fighter Wing and F-15 Strike Eagles from the 366th Fighter Wing.

Here are the flyover times:

10:00 a.m. - Caldwell - West Valley Medical Center

10:01 a.m. - Nampa - Saltzer Medical Center

10:02 a.m. - Nampa - Saint Alphonsus Medical Center

10:03 a.m. - Meridian - St. Luke's Medical Center

10:04 a.m. - Boise - Saint Alphonsus Medical Center

10:05 a.m. - Boise - St. Luke's Medical Center

10:06 a.m. - Boise - VA Medical Center

10:13 a.m. - Mountain Home - St. Luke's Family Clinic

10:29 a.m. - Hailey - St. Luke's Family Clinic

10:31 a.m. - Ketchum - St. Luke's Hospital

10:55 a.m. - Idaho Falls - Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center

10:55 a.m. - Idaho Falls - Mountain View Hospital

11:04 a.m. - Pocatello - Portneuf Medical Center

11:17 a.m. - Burley - Cassia Regional Hospital

11:23 a.m. - Twin Falls - St. Luke's Magic Valley 

9:20 a.m. - Roaring Springs Water Park, Wahooz to open in May

Roaring Springs announced the waterpark will open on Saturday, May 30 at 11 a.m. And the new $1.3 million Snake River Run is ready to ride. Roaring Springs is opening in Stage 3 of the Governor's Idaho Rebounds plan.

Wahooz will open its outdoor attractions, plus bowling on Monday, May 18 with authorization given in Stage 2. Wahooz indoor attractions are scheduled to open May 30. Delays in the Governor's stages could result in delays opening the parks.

Roaring Springs is one of the only aquatic facilities in the Treasure Valley with Ultraviolet Light on all their pools as an added layer of protection for guests. 

The Wave Pool, Endless River and Bearfoot Bay will be limited to 50% of capacity. Guests will be asked to practice social distancing and there will be thorough disinfecting in queue lines, dining areas and throughout the waterpark.

All guests and employees will be required to have their temperatures checked before they enter the parks using touch-free infrared thermometers. Any person with a fever at or above 100.3 degrees F be asked to return home.

Most employees will wear face masks (expect lifeguards guarding pools) and guests will be recommended to do so. No face masks will be allowed in the water as a safety precaution.

9:10 a.m. - Treasure Valley Family YMCA announces partial reopening

The YMCA will open its doors to members May 26, with a phased in approach to reopening. Members will notice several changes in the facilities intended to increase safety, including cleaning protocols and social distancing. Both members and staff will be asked to do wellness self-assessment before entering the facility. Those with symptoms will be asked to stay home.

The initial reopening consists of the weight and cardio rooms at all four facilities.

"We are eager to open our doors and serve the community, and to do this, we are squarely focused on how to make the Y a healthy and safe place for all," said David Duro, Treasure Valley Family YMCA President and CEO.

YMCA hours of operation will be Monday–Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. In future phases, additional areas will reopen, including aquatic centers, group exercise studios, and youth programs.

The Y will reopen only when it is safe and responsible to do so.

Monday, May 11

9:09 p.m. - In case you missed it: The COVID-19 pandemic is top-of-mind as hundreds of Idaho Air National Guard members began deploying to the Middle East; Idaho teachers unions are asking districts to hold off on budget cuts, and to instead use other funding resources such as "rainy day" funds; The Boise Hawks plan to open a "restaurant-like service" at Memorial Stadium; A spike in coronavirus cases in Twin Falls County isn't too worrisome, one doctor says; A North Idaho bar got a warning letter from police after it reopened early; The White House applauds Idaho for its reopening plan; And, the community comes together to help a 4-year-old Meridian boy celebrate his birthday.

5:40 p.m. - Three additional deaths reported in Treasure Valley

Three additional deaths connected to COVID-19 were reported in the Treasure Valley on Monday. That includes two deaths in Ada County, bringing the toll there to 21, and one in Canyon County, bringing the toll there to seven.

Statewide, 70 people have died from complications related to the coronavirus. There have now been 2074 confirmed cases, and the state is reporting an additional 186 "probable" cases. More than 1,500 people have recovered from the virus. See more in our interactive map and timelines tracking coronavirus in Idaho. 

2:05 p.m. - White House applauds Idaho for reopening plan, distribution of relief funds

The White House has highlighted Idaho as a leader among states for its four-stage plan to reopen the economy "safely and responsibly," and for its efforts in allocating federal relief funds, Gov. Brad Little said in a news release Monday.

"In recent media events and during meetings with state leaders, President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and White House officials have called out Idaho as an example for other states to follow in our staged approach to reopening, how we are prioritizing direct assistance to small businesses in our use of federal relief funds, and our level of transparency in reporting use of the funds," Little said. 

According to the governor's office, about $300 million in federal funds from the CARES Act will go directly to small Idaho businesses in the form of cash grants and cash for personal protective equipment to support workers and customers. The majority of the remaining funds are designated for local and tribal governments throughout Idaho.

Idaho received $1.25 billion in April as part of the CARES Act. Approximately 36% - about $450 million - of the funds have been allocated so far, and the rest remains in a state account to cover any extraordinary and unanticipated expenses that may arise.

A full breakdown of how funds are being allocated can be found here.

12:30 p.m. - Governor Little to host press conference regarding Stage 2 of Idaho Rebounds on Thursday

We will air the governor's press conference live on KTVB and stream it live on KTVB.COM and our YouTube channel at 1 p.m. Thursday.

11:50 a.m. - Idaho Department of Labor making pandemic unemployment assistance payments

The Idaho Department of Labor is now making payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits to individuals who are unemployed because of COVID-19 and are not eligible for regular benefits.

Payments will be made to workers who are not monetarily eligible for regular benefits and have no pending issues on their claim.

Payments will initially be for the minimum benefit amount of $168 per week for up to 39 weeks of total benefits. The weekly benefit amount may increase when workers provide proof of income and the Department reviews the proof. There is no need to submit proof if claimants have already done so. A supplemental payment will then be provided for claimed eligible weeks.

Application instructions will be mailed to claimants and can also be found on the Idaho Department of Labor's website.

The payments are retroactive to Feb 2, 2020, or the first week an individual is out of work due to COVID-19, whichever is later. The payment will be delivered in one lump sum.

There is no need to call the department as claimants can check the Claimant Portal to confirm payment.

10:55 a.m. - Gov. Little announces criteria, timelines for small businesses to apply for Idaho Rebound cash grants

Little announced last week that $300 million in cash grants will be made available to Idaho small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Cash grants of up to $10,000 will be directly deposited into the bank accounts for eligible businesses. More than 30,000 businesses could benefit.

Applications will be handled in two waves:

*Eligible entities with one to 19 employees may apply starting at noon MDT on May 11 through noon MDT on May 15

*Eligible entities with one to 50 employees may apply starting at noon MDT on May 18 through noon MDT on May 22.

ll applicants must first establish a secure Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account if they do not already have one, in order to protect their personal and business information on submitted applications.

Recipients of the grants will be shared at Transparent.Idaho.Gov when information is available.

RELATED: Small businesses in Idaho can start applying for grants on Monday

10:45 a.m. - Apple Store in Boise to reopen

Idaho's only Apple Store in the Boise Towne Square will reopen on Monday, May 11 at 11 a.m. In a statement, Apple said it was excited to be reopening six stores in four states this week. The other states are South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska. Most of Apple's 510 stores worldwide have been closed since the first half of March. Here is a portion of that statement:

"We’ll open initially with additional safety procedures including temperature checks, social distancing, and face coverings to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy. Our new social distance protocol allows for a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers. We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pick up."

9:30 a.m. - Macy's at Boise Towne Square Mall reopening

Macy’s Boise Towne Square is reopening to customers and communities. Following the Centers for Disease Control, state and local guidance, Macy’s will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., offering contact-free curbside pick-up.

“We are ready to welcome our customers back to Macy’s Boise Towne Square,” said Marc Mastronardi, chief stores officer at Macy’s. “We’re introducing new precautions to keep your family and ours safe and are now offering curbside pick-up to make getting what you want quick and easy.”

Click here for previous daily updates. 

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.

RELATED: Pandemic top-of-mind as hundreds of Idaho Air Guard members deploy to Middle East

RELATED: Interactive map and timelines tracking coronavirus in Idaho

Facts not fear: More on coronavirus

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