Pocatello City Council to consider emergency ordinance to require masks in public - East Idaho News

Pocatello City Council to consider emergency ordinance to require masks in public

  Published at
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready ...

POCATELLO — The city of Pocatello is the latest community in the Gem State to consider making facemasks mandatory in public places due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This Thursday, during a city council work session, councilmembers plan to debate a public health emergency ordinance. The proposed legislation would require masks to be worn in all public places or when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained, according to a city news release.

The proposed language states, “every person shall, when in any indoor or outdoor public place, completely cover their nose and mouth when members of the public are physically present for otherwise unprotected social interaction with persons other than household members.”

RELATED: City of Driggs issues emergency order requiring face masks

Some exceptions have been written into the proposed ordinance. They include:

  • Children under the age of 5.
  • Persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. A person is not required to provide documentation demonstrating that the person cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering.
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons, including on-duty law-enforcement officers, for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
  • Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose, face, or head for which temporary removal of the face-covering is necessary to perform the service.
  • Persons who are eating or drinking at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, so long as the person is able to maintain social distancing, as recommended by the CDC, from persons who are not members of the same household or party as the person.
  • Persons who are incarcerated.
  • Patrons of gyms so long as the gym is following a plan approved by the local health district.
  • Outdoor and/or indoor public places where people can maintain social distancing as recommended by the CDC.

The ordinance includes a 30-day time period for educating the public about the ordinance. After this, those who don’t comply with the ordinance would be cited with an infraction and fined an amount to be determined by the city council. To read the proposed public health emergency ordinance, visit bit.ly/2VViWUs.

Thursday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Citizens can watch the proceedings online at streaming.pocatello.us or on television at Government Access Channel 56 with a Sparklight subscription, according to the release.

Pocatello is not the first to consider making masks mandatory. Last week, similar actions were taken in Boise, Driggs, Moscow and Hailey.