KETCHUM — The City of Ketchum joined the growing list of towns in the Blaine County region decided to review their health orders and decided to loosen current COVID-19 protocols.
Both Hailey and Sun Valley have rescinded their health orders. After a 2-2 vote by Ketchum city council members Monday, Mayor Neil Bradshaw broke the tie in favor of rescinding Ketchum's health order.
The decision follows a lengthy discussion Ketchum council members had throughout May. Council members met to consider adjusting their health order, which required mask-wearing in public, limited gathering sizes and heavily encouraged social distancing.
With the recent announcements from the CDC and data collected, Ketchum will be adhering to the state's guidelines where masks are only encouraged and there are no limited gathering sizes.
"This last month we’ve seen data that’s very supportive for opening things up," said Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw. "Cases continue to decline and we’re pretty much in the green for every category."
The decision brought mixed reactions. Residents expressed concerns about whether it's too soon to loosen certain protocols. On the other side, many were excited for things to edge back toward normal, especially with summer approaching.
“We had anticipated at one point a different glide path. But that glide path was accelerated by the CDC’s announcements and so now we are all adjusting to this new normal and I think it’s going to take some time,” said Bradshaw.
Since it will take time for people to adjust and the pandemic is not over, the city is encouraging people to try and be as responsible as possible.
“Make the choices that work best for you," Bradshaw said. "Keep yourself safe, don’t put yourself in areas where you don’t feel comfortable. We’re encouraging everyone to stay informed and manage their risks."