Mask Mandates

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

The Central District Health Board Friday downgraded COVID-19 protection orders for Ada and Valley counties from mandate to "strong recommendation." The board’s vote to change its health order was unanimous.

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo


Each year for the past six years, Boise State University has conducted a survey asking Idahoans what matters to them, and how they want state resources to be used. This year's new survey dug into the topic that’s dominated our lives for the last 11 months: COVID-19.

The Minidoka County trustee on the South Central Public Health District Board has resigned.

Central District Health

Central District Health board Friday punted a vote on new, more restrictive health orders for its four-county area to a meeting Tuesday. The board will accept public comment on the proposed order through Monday. If approved, the order would take effect Friday, Dec. 11.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Some anti-mask protestors who showed up at multiple downtown businesses this past weekend will get trespassing citations from the Boise Police Department.

St. Luke’s Health System

With record breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases and fatalities, Idaho is in the worst phase of the pandemic so far. The coronavirus is having an effect on all aspects of life. Even if you or your loved ones never get sick with COVID, there's no way to avoid the economic, political and public health effects in Idaho. 

The South Central Public Health District board voted down a mask mandate for the Magic Valley counties during a Thursday meeting. It marks the second time in two months the health board has taken action against a policy that local doctors and hospital leaders are calling for.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


The pandemic, which could conceivably have brought our country together, has instead contributed to our growing political divides. According to a paper by the Brookings Institute, partisan affiliation is often the strongest single predictor of behavior and attitudes about COVID-19. Political affiliation is even more powerful than local infection rates or demographic characteristics when it comes to how folks will respond to the recommendations from health experts. 

St. Luke's Health System

COVID-19 continues to ravage the state of Idaho, with climbing hospitalizations and deaths. At the same time, local and state government officials are struggling to get folks to follow mask mandates where they do exist and encourage mask use where they are not required

Rick Bowmer / AP

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the Mountain West, Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert reversed course Sunday night and imposed a statewide mask mandate. Meanwhile in Idaho, we hit a new record of daily confirmed cases Monday, bringing Idaho’s total case count to almost 64,000. Idaho medical experts are urging a statewide approach as hospitals reach capacity.


On Sunday, Utah’s Republican governor Gary Herbert declared a new state of emergency and a statewide mask mandate. The move came as hospitals approached critical capacity and the state’s positive coronavirus test rate hovered around 17%.

Drew Nash Times-News/

The Twin Falls City Council abruptly reversed course Monday, voting to indefinitely table a discussion on a face mask mandate after nearly four hours of heated testimony.



Medical providers who sit on the committee that wrote Idaho’s framework to ration medical care if it becomes necessary are asking Gov. Brad Little for a statewide mask mandate. 

City of Twin Falls

Twin Falls could have a mask mandate as early as next week. On Monday night, the Twin Falls City Council voted 5-2 to direct city staff to draft an ordinance requiring face masks in public. It will receive an official vote during next Monday's council meeting. 



Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Callers from around the state spent 40 minutes Tuesday once again asking Gov. Brad Little why he won’t implement a statewide mask mandate.

Central District Health

Public health officials say a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in Ada County is one reason why they aren’t lifting a mask mandate just yet.

In late May, a Waffle House employee in Colorado was shot and wounded. The reason? A patron allegedly grew angry after the employee told him to wear a mask, according to multiple reports.

billandkent / Flickr Creative Commons

Social gatherings in Ada County were restricted Tuesday to 10 or fewer people, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. And folks in Valley County will now have to wear masks.


AP Images

North Idaho business owners are suing public health officials over a mandatory mask order in Kootenai County passed last month.

Peter Burka/ Flickr Creative Commons

As face mask mandates show up across Idaho, there are reports of people displaying fake cards claiming they are exempt from wearing masks.