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Bonner County Is Poised For A Public Health Showdown Following Mask Mandate

Lake Pend Oreille, North Idaho
Stan Petersen via Flickr

Bonner County Commissioners will consider retaliating against the region’s public health district Tuesday morning after it implemented a five-county mask mandate last month.

The proposal from Bonner County Commissioner Steven Bradshaw would first bar the county from enforcing the mask mandate.

“We are welcomed into this world with our first breath and delivered from it with our last. Breath is the very essence of life,” Bradshaw said during a county commission meeting last week. “There is no human right more fundamental than the right to breathe, for without it, life itself ceases to exist.”

The draft resolution, which county staff says hasn’t been legally vetted, would also halt the roughly $64,000 quarterly payments made to Panhandle District Health.

Bradshaw wants to claw back part of the more than $250,000 Bonner County has already sent to Panhandle Health this year, in addition to challenging the mask mandate in court.

Enforcing the public health order in Bonner County was already up against opposition – Sheriff Daryl Wheeler said in a statement on Facebook that he wouldn’t issue any citations or arrests.

Commissioners will consider the proposal at 10 a.m. Mountain Time.

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