A health district just mandated masks in one Idaho county, limited gatherings in another

Posted at 8:33 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 10:33:12-04

This article was written by Ruth Brown with the Idaho Statesman.

The Central District Health Board of Health voted 4-2 on Tuesday to mandate that masks be worn in Valley County to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Board members Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett, and Boise County Commissioner Ryan Stirm voted against the mandate.

Blanksma hasn’t supported any restriction implemented by the health district. Stirm has supported Ada County’s restrictions but said he couldn’t support the order for Valley County, which includes the summer destinations of McCall, Payette Lake and Lake Cascade.

Additionally, the board mandated that Ada County limit social gatheringsto 10 people or fewer in a 5-1 vote. Prior to the vote, social gatherings were limited to 50 people as part of the Stage 3 restrictions in Ada. Blanksma was the only board member who voted no.

As of Tuesday, there were 61 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Valley County and 8,757 confirmed in Ada County.

The changes by the board came a couple of weeks after the White House coronavirus task force placed Idaho in the “red zone”because of its virus spread and recommended a variety of restrictions that Gov. Brad Little has not imposed. The recommendations included limiting social gatherings and mask mandates.