Masks mandatory, large gatherings banned in Teton County, Idaho

TETON COUNTY, Idaho — Face coverings are now required in public places in Teton County, Idaho under a new public health order issued by Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH). Social gatherings of more than 150 people are also prohibited.

The decision comes after an announcement from Idaho Governor Brad Little that Idaho’s COVID-19 pandemic response would shift from a statewide to a regional approach. As such, EIPH will now handle health orders from eight counties.

The EIPH Administration and Board approved a COVID-19 Regional Response Plan July 14 and approved the health order last night after determining Teton County is in the “Moderate Risk” level for COVID-19.

The Regional Response Plan is stratified by risk levels starting with a green or Minimal Risk level and escalating towards the red or Critical Risk level. Each level has its own metrics and mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our communities. Different parts of EIPH’s region may be at different risk levels at any one time.

In the Minimal Risk level, everyone is strongly encouraged to practice the everyday preventive measures to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. This includes staying home if you’re sick, physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and wearing
face coverings in public when physical distancing is not possible.

“If each and everyone one of us would start doing these things NOW, it could help us from having to progress into higher risk levels. No one wants another shut down of our businesses and economy, so the EIPH Board of Health asks for everyone’s support in this effort,” said Bryon Reed, EIPH Board of Health Chairman.

When a location within the district advances to a higher level, the BOH convenes to determine which mitigation strategies need to be enacted to protect the health of the community. Currently, all counties in EIPH’s region are in the green or Minimal Risk level except Teton County.

Teton County’s health order is in effect now and is active for 14 days, at which time the risk level for Teton County will be re-assessed.

Under the Order:
Social gatherings and events, both public and private, of more than 150 are prohibited. Also, every person in Teton County 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 other non-household members are present and physical distancing of six feet cannot be maintained.

A public place is defined as 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:

  • Children under the age of 2.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health conditions, or a 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 deaf or hard of hearing, or communicating with a person who is deaf or 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 temporary 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 as the person. This exemption does NOT apply to entry, exit, or other movement throughout the facility.

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