City of Driggs declares state of emergency, issues mask mandate

DRIGGS, Idaho — Today, Mayor Hyrum Johnson of Driggs issued a Public Health Emergency Order requiring masks to be worn indoors in all publicly accessible places.

The order went into effect at 12 a.m Monday, Sept. 20, and applies to all businesses, government agencies, schools, churches and any other indoor location within the City which is publicly accessible.

The order is an administrative tool authorized under Idaho Statutes and will be reviewed and possibly extended by the City Council at its next meeting tomorrow, Sept. 21, 2021.

“The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident,” said Dave Jeppeson, Director of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare as he initiated Crisis Standards of Care for all of Idaho last Thursday.

As of Sept. 16, 2021, there were 835 active cases of COVID being tracked by Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH), 44 of which are Teton County residents. Last week the Department of Health and Welfare released data showing that during the period of May 15 to Sept. 11 of this year, of all COVID cases within Idaho, 90% of cases are among unvaccinated individuals, 91% of hospitalizations for COVID are for the unvaccinated, and 88% of all COVID-related deaths were unvaccinated.

Director Jeppesen continued, “Our hospitals and healthcare systems need our help. The best way to end crisis standards of care is for more people to get vaccinated. It dramatically reduces your chances of having to go to the hospital if you do get sick from COVID-19. In addition, please wear a mask indoors in public and outdoors when it’s crowded to help slow the spread.”

The mask mandate follows the recommendations of the Department of Health and Welfare as well as the Centers for Disease Control, Eastern Idaho Public Health, and local medical professionals.

“There has been so much misinformation floating around, and it’s led us to the crisis situation we are in right now,” said Mayor Johnson, “people need to understand how serious this situation is and be more cautious about their information sources.”

“It is time to come together as a community and work for the benefit of all to end this crisis,” urged Mayor Johnson.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter who recently made Jackson home. Born and raised in Connecticut, she enjoys reading non-fiction, skiing, hiking, and playing piano in her downtime. She is most passionate about delivering and pursuing stories that directly impact the lives of individuals in the community. Her favorite aspect about living in Jackson is the genuine admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.

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