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Order for mandatory face coverings, other restrictions issued in Custer County


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CHALLIS — New restrictions are in place for Custer County after an Eastern Idaho Public Health’s Board of Directors meeting Thursday morning.

EIPH’s Board of Health voted to advance Custer County from the minimal risk level to the moderate risk level of their COVID-19 Regional Response Plan. Custer County joins Bonneville, Jefferson and Teton Counties in the moderate risk level.

As part of the moderate risk level, an order’s been issued — effective immediately — for mandatory face coverings and limited gatherings.

“Every person is required to wear a face-covering that completely covers the person’s nose and mouth when the person is in a public place and other non-household members are present and physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained,” the order explains.

Custer County Commissioner Wayne Butts said during the meeting he believes the people in the community who are already wearing masks will continue to do so, but even with an order, he doesn’t believe they’ll “get any new ones wearing masks.”

“We all want to see our schools stay open, yet it seems like we don’t want to practice safe distancing and things that could allow us to do that,” he said.

Additionally, social gatherings and events, both public and private, are limited to a maximum occupancy that provides for each person to have a 3-foot radius around them.

Custer County had been around a rate of seven active cases per 10,000 population, but EIPH Director Geri Rackow said in the meeting that last Friday, they were at 27.8 active cases. The threshold for moving from minimal to moderate risk was 15 active cases per 10,000 population for three consecutive days.

“Since that time (Friday) it has continued to increase,” she said. “For six days, they have been above the metric that would move them into the moderate risk level.”

The order is in place for a minimum of 14 days, and then it will be re-evaluated. Clark, Lemhi, and Fremont counties all were previously in the moderate risk level, but recently the number of new cases dropped, which removed them from the higher level.

A copy of the Custer County order of restriction can be found by clicking here.

More COVID-19 news can be found here.