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More Idaho Cities Ditch Mask Mandates After New CDC Guidelines

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Idaho cities that had mask mandates are starting to repeal them since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in most indoor or outdoor settings.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean got rid of the city’s mask mandate and gathering limit on Friday and a couple other cities quickly followed suit, including Hailey and Sun Valley.

On Monday night, Ketchum got rid of its health order, too. It had required masks and limited gatherings to 10 people.

“Now the onus goes on to personal responsibility," said Mayor Neil Bradshaw. "Keep yourself safe, keep those around you safe and good luck for everyone.”

The Ketchum council's vote was tight — 2 to 2, and Bradshaw broke the tie. The council members who voted against the repeal were worried it was too soon, even if just by a week. They cited an opinion from the local medical community advocating to keep the indoor mask mandate a bit longer until more kids could get vaccinated. Kids aged 12-15 are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, but could only start getting their first shots last week.

Blaine County had some of the most stringent public health orders during the pandemic, above and beyond the state’s requirements. It also has the state's highest vaccination rate; 61% of people 12 years and older are fully vaccinated.

Other municipalities in Idaho have also overturned mask mandates in the past month, including Pocatello, Driggs, Victor and Teton County.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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