BOISE, Idaho — Organizers of the annual Boise Fall Home Show opened the show to the public on Friday, after getting the green light to hold the event. Organizers got the approval despite restrictions on large gatherings in Ada County due to the spread of coronavirus.
Under the Central District Health guidelines for Stage 3, which Ada County is currently in, large venues are instructed to remain closed, and gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.
Yet Spectra Productions, the group that puts on the Boise Fall Home Show, was successfully able to argue that health officials should make an exception. They were granted the go-ahead after creating a comprehensive plan showing how they would keep vendors and visitors safe.
CDH spokesman Brandon Atkins said the fact that all attendees were not heading into Expo Idaho at one time contributed to the health district's decision.
“They wanted to separate themselves and say, 'we’re not just an event that’s happening, we are really more of a business that’s operating as a store,'” Atkins said. "So you look at a concert - a rock concert for example – you have set time to show up, you’re there for X amount of time with thousands of other people. That’s very different than what you would see happening for someone who goes to CostCo where you have very specific activities. You have a line that you’re walking through, you’re navigating a storefront, but you’re supposed to be maintaining social distancing, you’re supposed to be wearing a facemask – all of those things they put in place they outlined very specifically.”
Spectra Productions spread aisles further apart, added traffic arrows on the floors to direct flow, marked entrances and exits, and set a capacity limit for the Boise Fall Home Show. Their approved plan also includes plexiglass barriers, touchless transactions, sanitation stations, and hired security to help enforce regulations.
Atkins says the way Spectra got approval for the show is an example of how other businesses can go about getting approval for events in the future.
“If individuals want to be able to operate with something that does not fall within the current guidelines, and it isn’t changed globally, then they will have to put together a plan that they can request to be reviewed by the board of health in order to have that played out,” he said.
“We absolutely want to see businesses be able to thrive to the best of their ability in a pandemic, but we also have to do it in a way that is cognizant of public health and population health.”
The Boise Fall Home Show, which will feature more than 200 displays, starts this Friday and runs through the weekend. For more information, visit the event website here.
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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