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Law & Justice

Idaho Supreme Court Drops Mask Mandate

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The Idaho Supreme Court building in downtown Boise.

Courthouses in Idaho will no longer require people to wear a mask when they enter after federal health officials came out with new guidance last week.

Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Bevan issued the new order Thursday morning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors except in certain settings.

Data show fully vaccinated people are highly protected against the coronavirus and even variants that cause COVID-19.

While masks are no longer required to enter a courthouse under the order, people are still strongly encouraged to wear them. Judges can also require them at specific hearings to protect an unvaccinated or immunocompromised person.

Hearings will no longer automatically be held remotely – just on a case-by-case basis.

All felony sentencing hearings will be held in-person starting June 1.

Idaho’s COVID-19 cases have dropped significantly since the beginning of the year. But jury trials could still be postponed under this order if local cases climb again.

The mask mandate issued by Idaho’s judicial branch has been a flashpoint for anti-government activists, like Ammon Bundy. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he refused to wear a mask to attend his jury trial in March regarding trespassing charges at the Idaho Capitol.

A few weeks later, Bundy’s supporters picketed at Judge David Manweiler’s home in Boise after he ordered the case to go to mediation.

A new trial for Bundy is scheduled for June 28 at 8:15 a.m. at the Ada County Courthouse.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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