Community members give input on a potential mask mandate in Coeur d’Alene

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — As COVID-19 cases soar in North Idaho, people in Coeur d’Alene are still in a face-off over whether to wear a mask. 

City Council members could approve a resolution on Monday that would require you to wear a face covering in the city. 

The emergency meeting comes four days after Panhandle Health lifted the county-wide mandate. 

The controversial topic is getting a lot of opinions in Coeur d’Alene. 

We’ve had multiple people yell at us for wearing masks. They’re like, you don’t need to wear that outside,” said Chloe Harris, who is for the mandate. 

4 News Now approached nearly two dozen people who didn’t want to share their opinion on camera. Those who did had slightly different thoughts. 

“It doesn’t hurt you to put it on. Why not put it on. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It doesn’t hurt,” said Mari Pili Vecerra, also in favor. 

“I think it should be a choice,” said Rob Stewart. 

“I think it should be a choice but for all the masking to work it has to be done by everyone at the same time,” said Heather Stewart. 

We asked you online if their should be a mandate. As of Sunday afternoon, answers were split almost down the middle, with 50.6% in favor of the mandate. You can take that poll HERE

“It’s pretty shocking just because it seems like people have an understanding of what the virus is and how it can be so detrimental to small towns like this, yet it doesn’t seem like there’s concern about spreading it,” said Courtney Vacek. 

The Kootenai County mandate was largely ignored and not enforced. In the resolution suggested by City Council members, you could receive a $100 fine for violating the mandate. However, it also says it will focus on education first. 

The Panhandle Health District has reported nearly 5,000 COVID-19 cases since mid-March. 79% of those people are in Kootenai County. 

The Health District recored the highest single-day spikes in cases just last week. The CDC says masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

If the resolution is passed, it will go into effect at midnight and last for 30 days, unless the City Council extends it.

READ: School districts discuss changes following Kootenai County’s risk moving to ‘red’