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What are the guidelines for Idaho businesses reopening under Stage 1 of Gov. Little's plan?

The first stage of the governor's four-phase plan is set to begin on May 1.

BOISE, Idaho — After closing shop more than a month ago, it'll be back to work for some businesses. Stage one of Idaho Governor Brad Little's four-phase plan gets underway Friday.

“Idaho will enter a new chapter of our fight with the coronavirus,” Gov. Little said. “However, Idahoans will need to continue to stay vigilant, to stay healthy, as we continue to reopen our economy.”

Under stage one, retail stores, places of worship, day cares and youth activities are allowed to reopen as long as they can maintain appropriate social distancing.  

But what does that mean? What will it look like?

Tyler Jordan is an environmental health specialist with Central District Health. He says, the state, Central District Health and Southwest District Health have resources available for all businesses that are going to be reopening. The guidance outlines specific things businesses need to be aware of, like how to handle sanitation. 

RELATED: Live coronavirus updates: Gov. Brad Little says Idaho is ready to start the first stage of reopening tomorrow

“They also need to have something in place with how they're going to monitor social distancing to make sure they're aware of the requirements of that,” Jordan said.

For example, posting signs or using taped markings to designate certain areas, limiting the number of people allowed in a business and even using a 'by appointment' scheduling system to reduce foot traffic. 

“And being able to basically sanitize high traffic areas to limit the spread of covid-19,” Jordan said.

Businesses reopening will also need to establish protocols and practices that include educating employees on steps for protecting themselves at work and home, as well as establishing routine cleaning and disinfecting practices.

If you're still concerned but would like to visit some of these businesses reopening, Jordan also addresses those concerns. 

RELATED: Idaho's phased reopening: 'some of it is not going to be perfectly fair,' Gov. Little says

“What we would recommend is washing your hands as much as possible and that includes when you leave to go to an establishment and when you get back,” Jordan said. “Also it is not required, but it is a recommendation to wear a face mask if they so choose.” 

Jordan told KTVB, these are general guidelines for all four stages of the governor's plan. However, for stage two, Central District Health will have to approve plans when it comes to food service establishments before they're allowed to reopen. Stage two is set for May 16.

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage and the latest COVID-19 case numbers, visit our coronavirus section here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus 

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