SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane is now joining North Idaho and reopening businesses across the region. However, local officials saying this does not mean we should stop practicing social distancing.

In a press conference Friday morning, several Spokane City leaders expressed the importance of keeping up with safety guidelines so that we can continue to move forward.
 
"Now the progress has to continue, this isn't the end, this is just the beginning, and we need to even more, follow the measures that got us to this place in the first place," Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said.
 
Spokane is moving to Phase Two, as 18 new cases arise in Spokane. That's highest number of new cases the county has seen in more than a month.
 
The question several city leaders are asking, "what can we do to ensure that reopening wont cause a surge in new cases?"
 
In Idaho, businesses have been opened for several weeks now and cases are lower than before.
 
Some businesses in Idaho have been open for several weeks now and the case count is extremely low, 70 total cases in Kootenai County with 68 cases no longer being monitored.
 
 
According to the Panhandle Health District, the key to keeping cases low is still implementing those best practices while out and about.
 
"Looking at this shutdown vs reopening as an either or scenario is a backwards way to look at it. We don't need to do either or, we can do both of those things at the same time, so we can control the spread of COVID 19 and reopen the economy but we need to do it in a safe way," Katherine Hoyer with the Panhandle Health District said.
 
We asked the Panhandle Health District what advice they would give Spokane, given their success with reopening and managing a low number of new cases.
 
"Continue thinking of your friends, loved ones, and neighbors and how you can keep them safe. The cloth face coverings if you are social distancing those are still recommended, as they protect the source, they are protecting other people from your respiratory droplets, and just continue to think of others throughout this pandemic," Hoyer said.
 
If all continues to go well, Idaho will move into Phase Three next week. For Spokane, June 12th is the date when they can be considered for Phase 3.