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City of Boise reverses mask policy, requires face coverings indoors at city facilities

Downtown Boise
Posted at 4:12 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 13:40:23-04

The City of Boise will reverse its mask policy and require face coverings to be worn indoors in city facilities as concerns over the Delta variant increase.

The city announced face masks will be required indoors in line with updated Centers for Disease Control guidance as well as increasing COVID-19 cases in the state and low vaccination rates. The change will go into effect beginning July 28 and applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status, according to a news release from the city.

The CDC announced a reversal of earlier policies on July 27, recommending people who are vaccinated wear face masks indoors in areas of the country where coronavirus cases are surging.

Related: IDHW: Vaccine waste is low as rates decline, COVID-19 cases rising

“The health and safety of our employees and residents is always our top priority,” said Chief of Staff Courtney Washburn. “Wearing masks is a proven way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and until there is a higher vaccine rate and fewer positive COVID-19 cases in Ada County, this step is necessary to protect our team and our residents who rely on the services the city provides.”

The change will go into effect at city buildings including Boise City Hall, City Hall West, the Boise Public Library branch libraries, recreational facilities water renewal facilities and city office buildings, according to the release.

The City of Boise lifted the face mask requirement for outdoors in April, also in accordance with changed CDC policies. Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announced in May face coverings were no longer required indoors as COVID-19 cases decreased.

The City of Meridian said in an emailed statement to Idaho News 6 that officials are reviewing the new CDC recommendations but are not issuing any new requirements or restrictions at this time.

Gov. Brad Little's office said in an emailed statement that Little does not plan to issue any new guidance or policies around masks. Little continues to urge people to consider CDC guidance on the use of masks and continues to encourage Idahoans to choose to get the vaccine, according to the statement.