ORDER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH, PANHANDLE HEALTH DISTRICT, STATE OF IDAHO
Order regarding Face Coverings
Individuals in the Panhandle Health District, consisting of Kootenai, Benewah, Bonner, Boundary and Shoshone Counties, Idaho
THE DISTRICT BOARD OF HEALTH FOR PANHANDLE HEALTH DISTRICT HEREBY FINDS AND DECLARES AS FOLLOWS:
- The virus that causes Coronavirus 2019 Disease (“COVID-19”) has been shown to create a significant risk to the health and safety of the elderly population and other vulnerable members of the population.
- COVID-19 is easily transmitted, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to protect the ability of public and private health care providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety.
- Kootenai Health, the principal health system in Kootenai County is reporting an increase in hospital admissions for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, and has expressed concern for the hospital’s ability to provide appropriate levels of care for all patients if the upward trend continues at the current rate.
- Protection of the public health and the slowing of transmission of COVID-19 disease during the effective period of the Order would be facilitated by the use of face coverings in public places where others are present and physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
- An immediate danger to the public health, safety and welfare of the people of the Panhandle Health District requires the imposition of this emergency Order, which is authorized by Idaho Code § 56-1003(7), IDAPA 16.02.10.065.09, Idaho Code § 39-415, and Idaho Code § 67-5247.
ORDER AND RESTRICTIONSNOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED BY THE BOARD OF HEALTH FOR THE PANHANDLE HEALTH DISTRICT:
- That every person in Kootenai, Benewah, Bonner, Boundary and Shoshone Counties is required to wear a face-covering that completely covers the person’s nose and mouth when the person is in a public place and physical distancing of 6 feet from others cannot be maintained.
- “Public place” shall mean any place open to all members of the public without specific invitation, including but not necessarily limited to, retail business establishments, government offices, medical, educational, arts, and recreational institutions, public transportation, including taxi cabs and ridesharing vehicles, outdoor public areas, including but not limited to public parks, trails, streets, sidewalks, lines for entry, exit, or service, when a distance of at least six feet cannot be maintained from any non-household member.
- Facial coverings are not required to be worn under the following circumstances:
- Where the individuals are immediate family members or household occupants.
- Children under the age of two (2).
- Persons with medical conditions, mental health conditions, or disability that prevent them from wearing a face covering. A person is not required to provide documentation demonstrating that the person cannot tolerate wearing a face covering.
- Persons who are communicating with a person who is deaf and hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Persons, including on-duty law-enforcement officers, for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
- Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose, face, or head for which tempora1y removal of the face-covering is necessary to perform the service.
- Persons who are eating or drinking at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, so long as they are seated at a table and able to maintain a distance of 6 feet from persons who are not members of the same household or party. This exemption does NOT apply to ent1y, exit, or other movement through the facility.
- Persons incarcerated in a jail or related facility.
- When necessary to confirm a person’s identity.
- When local, state, or federal law prohibits wearing a face covering or requires removal of a face covering.
- This Order shall become effective immediately and will continue to be in effect until approximately sixty days, up to and including the date of the January 2021 Board of Health meeting, where it can be discussed and continued, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Board of Health at that time.
- Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order could constitute a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. Idaho Code § 56-1003(7)( c).
- If any provision of this Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, then the remainder of the Order, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this Order are severable.
- Kootenai, Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, and Shoshone Counties and each city within must promptly provide copies of the Order as follows: (1) by posting the Order on its website, (2) by posting the Order at the Kootenai, Benewah, Bonner, Boundary and Shoshone County courthouses and each city hall in Kootenai, Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, and Shoshone Counties, and (3) by providing a copy to any member of the public requesting it. The Order will also be posted on the website of Panhandle District Health.