Idaho To Stay In Phase Four, Send Kids To School This Fall

Jul 9, 2020

Idaho Governor Brad Little announced Thursday that he expects children will attend class in their neighborhood schools this fall.
Credit Idaho Public Television

Idaho Governor Brad Little today [Thursday] announced the Gem State will stay where it is in its recovery from the coronavirus.

“Over the past two weeks, Idaho did not meet the criteria to advance past the final stage of the Idaho Rebounds plan. We will remain in stage four for at least another two weeks," the governor said.

State epidemiologist Christine Hahn cited the rise in Covid cases in Idaho over the last two weeks.

One good sign, she says, is that the state is doing more testing than it has in the past.

“That said, our percent positivity is well over 5%. We’re at about 10.8%, so we failed this metric, if you will. Things are not going in the right direction in terms of our positivity," Hahn said.

The governor then announced that he expects Idaho’s schools will offer in-person instruction in the fall, but that the decisions for how to do that will be left up to individual districts. The state has issued a document to offer them guidance.

“The Idaho Back to School Framework is not overly prescriptive, but it does set expectations for the fall, provides support for local governance and decision-making and offers guidance and best practices on key operational components of reopening," Little said. "This is a balancing act for our schools, meeting the needs of our students, while navigating public health challenges.”

State superintendent Sherri Ybarra says families that feel uncomfortable sending their children physically to school will still have online options.