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No arrests, citations so far on Boise’s health order; Clarity on business compliance rules

Face mask
Posted at 7:29 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 21:29:41-05

This article was originally published by Don Day in BoiseDev.

Monday marked the first day the City of Boise started enforcing its public health orders in the city.

City of Boise Communications Director Seth Ogilve tells BoiseDev the city took 17 complaints on Monday. So far, none of the issues led to either arrests or citations, though some inspections and reports remain in pending status.

Boise Police Department officers responded to four calls for service related to the mandates.

“The events were resolved by the time police got there,” Ogilve said.

The rest of the complaints came into the Boise City Clerk’s office – a total of 13. Each of those complaints remains under review.

Guidelines for business

Since the city and Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said they would enforce mask wearing and other orders in the city, a number of different scenarios cropped up on social media from businesses and employees.

We worked to get clarity from Ogilve on what is – and isn’t – a problem under the city’s order.

He said if a business is doing its best to gain compliance with the mask or other mandates, they wouldn’t face penalties from the city.

“If a business is doing everything they can to keep people in compliance, if they are taking all the reasonable steps to mitigate it, they shouldn’t worry,” he said. “We are not trying to punish a business that’s try to do everything right.”

For instance, if a business takes action but a customer doesn’t comply, the city would not move to punish the business – even if other people complain.

But, if a business is not taking any steps to bring customers into compliance, and someone complains, they could see action from the city. If an investigation from the Boise City Clerk’s office determines the business didn’t comply with the public health order, they could suspend the business’s license.

Simply put: If a business is trying, they’re OK. If they’re not – they could face enforcement.

Businesses who are dealing with a difficult customer and need help can ask for help from Boise Police.

“If a business asks a customer to put their mask on and they refuse, police can respond if they are asked to leave on a trespassing situation,” Ogilve said.