Downtown bars screenshot KTVB

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For the first time in months, select bars in Ada County are now cleared to open, writes KTVB reporter Joe Parris. Back in June, a cluster of close to 100 COVID cases was traced back to a collection of bars in downtown Boise. In the days following that news, bar owners worked to implement new protocols to cut down on the spread.

That effort, however, was not successful, and less than a week later, Central District Health ordered the bars close again as the county rolled back to Stage 3.

Now, in September, some bars are going to give opening up another shot.

This time, though, COVID operational procedures will be much stricter than in June. Parris reports that bars wanting to follow strict protocols and reopen, from requiring social distancing and masking to enforcing those requirements, were allowed to submit proposals to Central District Health. Seventeen have had their plans approved and were cleared to reopen. You can see his full story online here at, including a list of the 17 with approved plans.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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