Twin Falls City Leaders Optimistic on Day 1 of Reopening
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLXI)-On the first day of Idaho's Stage-1 reopening after a stay-at-home order expired at the end of April Twin Falls city leaders say they are cautiously optimistic. Twin Falls City Manager Travis Rothweiler said he and several others with the city government went shopping with Gov. Brad Little, who came down to Rudy's-A Cook's Paradise to help open the store.
Gov. Little said Thursday that Stage-1 of his Rebound Idaho plan would allow for 90 percent of businesses to reopen, which includes retail, child care and youth organizations; places of worship are also allowed to open to the public. At a press conference shared on social media Friday, Twin Falls City Manager Travis Rothweiler said he was informed by staff at St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center that the number of people being treated for COVID-19 was less than 10 and no one was in the intensive care unit. The city will slowly begin to open up in the next two weeks as the state moves towards Stage-2 with the library offering curbside services. City employees will be allowed to voluntarily return to office buildings with a full return by May 18. People wanting to meet with city workers can make appointments for in person discussions.
Public meetings will be held with social distancing in place, according to Rothweiler. The city pool and recreation facilities will remain closed through the first phase while staff comes up with a plan.
Shawn Barigar, city councilman and president of the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce, noted that small business grants have been made available of up to $10,000 from the Coronavirus Relief Fund totaling $300 million.
Chris Reid, city council member, said small businesses should apply for the Paycheck Protection Program made available from the U.S. Small Business Administration through local financial institutions. He also noted that the state small business grants could help supplement what the PPP loans don't cover.
Lastly, Economic Development Director Nathan Murray said indoor gyms, nightclubs, and restaurants should start making plans for allowing customers back inside their building in preparation for Stage-2, which could start May 16. He said restaurants will need to submit plans to South Central Public Health District beforehand.