BOISE, Idaho (KLIX)-Idaho's governor announced today that the state has reached the needed criteria to begin a phased opening of businesses shutdown because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Thursday morning Gov. Brad Little said the state Stay-home Order will be replaced with a new order he had signed earlier in the day to begin Stage 1 of the four stages suggested by the federal government beginning Friday. The first stage will allow for child daycare facilities, including youth camps, and houses of worship. Specific guidelines are given to each group on how to continue services in stage one, which is set for May 1, to May 15.

Each stage requires the number of reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to continue downward. Gov. Little said if there is a spike in cases the state could take a step back. Meanwhile, other businesses can make preparations to advance on to the next stage and open back up for business, again under specific guidelines. For example, during Stage 1 restaurants can develop plans for in-house dinning which, if all goes according to plan, can allow customers back inside their buildings after May 15.

The Gov. also announced new grants will be available to small businesses through the Idaho State Tax Commission.

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