Panhandle Health Board once again considering mask mandate
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The Panhandle Health District Board will once again consider implementing a mask mandate, just weeks after lifting the former one.
The board will discuss the possible mandate at its meeting Thursday. Katherine Hoyer, public information officer for the PHD, said the board could decide to implement the mask mandate for all of North Idaho or for individual counties.
The decision to consider required mask-wearing comes as North Idaho deals with increasing case rates and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
This would not be the first time the board has implemented a mask mandate. One was in place for Kootenai County residents earlier this year, but the board lifted the mandate in October, following increased resistance from the public.
Even when it was in place, it was not largely enforced.
Since then, cities have taken efforts into their own hands. The Coeur d’Alene City Council passed a resolution requiring masks within city limits and the Post Falls City Council voted on Tuesday to require masks on city property, and encourage them in city limits.
The cities of Wallace, Kellogg and Moscow have also implemented mask mandates.
Mandates are being handled at the local level as Gov. Brad Little has refrained from issuing a statewide order. Idaho is one of 14 states that has not required face coverings.
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