Coeur d’Alene businesses not required to enforce mask mandate

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — People in Coeur d’Alene are now required to wear a mask. This took effect on Tuesday after a 4-2 City Council vote in favor of issuing a mandate. The rule requires you to wear a mask indoors and outdoors, if you can’t socially distance.

This mandate doesn’t change anything for Mark Rogers, who owns The Leather Works in downtown Coeur d’Alene. He’s required the use of masks since March.

“Before this current mandate, we started immediately listening to what the scientists and medical professionals were saying,” he explained. “We have a sign out front that asks people respectfully to protect our vulnerable people by doing the right thing.”

Rogers said he isn’t for enforcing the mandate, which businesses don’t have to do.

“So it is an individual mandate,” said Mike Gridley, City Attorney for Coeur d’Alene. “There is no requirement for businesses to enforce the mandate on their customers or employees.”

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Coeur d’Alene City Council approves mask mandate

Again, masks are required though in places like stores and restaurants, if people can’t socially distance. Businesses are allowed to require masks and refuse service.

“Individual businesses can set up their own rules,” Gridley explained. “We’re all familiar with no shirt, no shoes, no service. Same thing. A business can say you must have a mask to come into my business.”

They also have the right to refuse service. Though the mandate doesn’t have to be enforced by businesses, people can still face a $100 ticket. However, City Council wants to provide education first.

“I don’t anticipate an tremendous amount of tickets,” Gridley said. “I think that people will be approached by police and educated — ‘did you know you have a mask requirement?'”

Gridley believes there is community support for the mandate. On Monday, people were protesting outside the City Council meeting, chanting that they wouldn’t comply if it was passed.

“The message from Council was they want to continue to provide education,” Gridley said. “We’re not looking to give people tickets.”

Rogers said if someone comes in without a mask, he will not kick them out.

“What I will do is refuse to offer them the service that I would offer somebody who has the courtesy to come in and offer protection to me,” he explained.

He said it’s sad the mandate needs enforcement.

“I mean, this is a public health emergency,” Rogers said.

The mandate has a few exceptions. Some of those include children 10 and under and people with medical conditions. It’ll last for 90 days, but City Council has the option to change that during the 90 days.

READ: Gov. Little moves Idaho back to Stage 3 of reopening plan as cases, hospitalization rates rise