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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Face Coverings Now Required In Public Places Throughout Ada County

Paul Sableman/ Flickr Creative Commons

As of Tuesday evening, face masks are now required in public spaces in Ada County.


The Central District Health Board voted to mandate face coverings in the county that is at the center of the latest coronavirus outbreak. Boise County Commissioner Ryan Stirm said mask policies aren’t a matter of politics, but of public safety. 

“Take care of yourself to take care of everyone else," said Stirm. "I don’t think it’s a Republican thing and I don’t think it’s a Democrat thing. It’s a human thing."

Saint Alphonsus Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Steven Nemerson said without intervention like mask mandates, the coronavirus caseload will grow and could overwhelm hospital capacity. 

“The COVID train is moving. We are headed to become New York, California, Arizona, Houston," said Dr. Nemerson. "The gift we’ve been given is time to turn the train around.”

Face coverings must be worn inside public spaces and outside when six feet of distance can’t be maintained. 

For now, the mandate only affects the state’s most populous county, but the board says it is open to expanding the order to other counties in the health district, if the outbreak continues to grow.

Ada County remains in a modified Stage 3 of the state's reopening plan, after the health district voted for increased restrictions in June. 

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