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Regional News

Idaho To Remain In Covid Phase 4; Governor Touts Economic Recovery

Idaho Public Television

Idaho Governor Brad Little said Friday the Gem State will remain in the final phase of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan.

“In nearly all the metric categories, we are seeing encouraging trends. However, our Covid hospitalizations statewide remain too high, again, to move out of stage four. Idaho will remain in stage four for another two weeks," Little said.

The governor spent most of his press conference touting the state’s response to the pandemic. He says Idaho has strategically spent its federal Covid relief money to support vulnerable sectors, from small businesses to schools. He pointed to Friday’s news that the state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2%, about half of the federal mark. And he said Idaho’s unemployment trust fund is in much better shape than funds in most other states.

“People are making sacrifices, whether they’re wearing face coverings, whatever it is that they’re doing. They need to know that part of the return on that is what it’s doing for economic prosperity for Idaho and we wanted to highlight that," he said.

The governor says while many state legislatures will face difficult budget decisions next year, Idaho is in a good fiscal situation and will likely avoid the headaches seen in other states.