UPDATE: Mayors of Victor and Driggs respond to rising cases of COVID-19

UPDATE: Aug. 27: Mayor Will Frohlich issued an order requiring all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear a mask or face covering when indoors in a public setting. This includes offices, retail stores, restaurants and bars, local government offices and schools within the City of Victor. The mandate starts at 12:01 a.m., on Monday, August 30th.

“Face coverings are one of our most effective tools in this pandemic. Increasing our use of masks within the community is the easiest and best way to protect the health of our citizens from the Delta variant while still allowing our businesses to remain open and preventing our health care system from collapsing,” said Mayor Frohlich.

TETON VALLEY, IDAHO — Victor Mayor Will Frohlich and Driggs Mayor Hyrum F. Johnson have both taken actions in response to rising cases of COVID-19 in their communities.

Yesterday, Frohlich declared a state of emergency within the City of Victor, effective Aug. 25 at 5 p.m., based on “the rising cases of COVID-19 largely resulting from the Delta variant.”

According to the announcement, the Emergency Declaration is an administrative tool that allows the City to more quickly and efficiently serve the community as COVID-19 evolves.

In declaring the state of emergency, Frohlich said, “It is unfortunate we are in this situation, but the Delta variant is extremely dangerous. Our local cases have grown exponentially over the last weeks and instituting social distancing practices and a mask mandate may once again become necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and our vulnerable neighbors.”

There are currently 357 active cases in the Eastern Idaho Public Health District area with 26 of those being from Teton County. Teton County has the highest case per 10k rate in the region at this time. Last week, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare projected the State numbers hitting a new high within a few weeks.

This is all due to the low level of vaccination in the State and the increased ability to spread that the Delta Variant has. “I believe the best way to curb the development of variants and stop the spread remains vaccination,” Frohlich said. “Vaccines are safe and highly effective, free, and widely available in Teton County. I encourage all residents to get vaccinated.”

Last night, the Victor City Council passed an ordinance “affirming the Mayor’s declaration of a local emergency related to Covid-19 and authorizing the Mayor to take necessary actions to protect the health of residents and visitors to the City.”

Driggs

On Aug. 24, Driggs Mayor Driggs Mayor Hyrum F. Johnson announced that the city is returning to “Moderate: limited public access on its pandemic operations plan. ” Face coverings are also now required within public areas of city facilities, regardless of vaccination status, effective yesterday Aug. 25, at 12 a.m.

City facilities include the Community Center (including TISA, Rock Gym, Geo-Center, and Senior Center), and the Fifth Street Office (currently leased to 4H/Teton County).

The masking requirement is enforceable under the City’s current Emergency Health Order, with penalties for violation. This requirement is currently only applicable to the indoor city facilities mentioned and does not apply to private or public facilities that are not city-owned.

Mirroring Frohlich’s call to get vaccinated, Johnson’s announcement stated, “The City encourages everyone who qualifies to obtain a vaccine as soon as possible.  Under the current circumstances, we are encouraging everyone to wear masks in any indoor location, or where a social distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained. According to trusted health sources, this is the only way we will be able to overcome this virus and prevent future mutations from occurring. Dare to Care!  Get Vaxxed!”

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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