The number of new COVID-19 infections within the District and reported to Central District Health since July 1, 2020, has on most days exceeded 100. Many Ada County residents commute to Valley County weekly to recreate and engage in social interaction and frequent the various private businesses and public spaces in Valley County. The Commissioners of Valley County have unanimously resolved to ask Central District Health to act in the interests of the citizens of Valley County by issuing a county-wide mask order.
On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Central District Health’s Board of Health voted to implement a face covering public health order for Valley County. This Order took effect on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 and is separate from the Ada County Order.
Please refer to the latest order for specific language and additional details.
Every person is required to wear a face covering that completely covers the person's nose and mouth when the person is in a public place, or on the property of a public or private or charter school, or technical school or college or university, and others are present and physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
However, when any person is inside a primary or secondary school facility, facial coverings as described above shall be worn irrespective of whether physical distancing can be maintained unless a person is alone in a private office with doors closed or for educators when providing instruction to students and a distance of 10 feet can 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, arts, educational 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:
Q: Is this order and the requirement to wear a face covering / mask enforceable?
A: The requirement to wear a face covering in public places that are open to the general public without specific invitation is specifically addressed in the order of quarantine and restriction, which people are required to follow by law. A person can be issued a misdemeanor if they are in violation of any part of the order. CDH is relying heavily on the public's willingness to comply and recognize that wearing a face covering is a valuable tool to protect our communities. In working with our law enforcement partners, we anticipate the enforcement approach will be largely be focused on education.
Q: Do daycares / child care centers have to wear face coverings / masks?
A: Daycares are not included in the orders; only public places, which are locations open to the general public without specific invitation. CDH has issued guidance for child care providers, but wearing face coverings is a guideline and not a requirement.
CDH's guideline states: CDC recommends that all children 2 years and older should wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in the community setting. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms. Please remember that cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies and children under age two because of the danger of suffocation.
Q: Do I need to wear a face covering / mask at church?
A: If the church is considered to be open to the public without invitation, yes. Otherwise, no.
Q: Do people working out at a gym need to wear a face covering / mask?
A: No, but gyms must keep people 6-feet or more apart, provide hand sanitizer, frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces, and increase ventilation if possible.
Q: What authority does CDH have to implement an Order?
A: Idaho Code § 56-1003(7), IDAPA 16.02.10.065.08, and .09, Idaho Code § 39-415, and Idaho Code § 67-5247 authorize Central District Health to issue such an order: An immediate danger to the public health, safety and welfare of the people of the Central District Health, and of the State of Idaho, requires the imposition of this emergency quarantine and restriction Order.
Q: Why don't we just allow people to get COVID and develop herd immunity?
A: We have no guaranteed data to indicate herd immunity will be established for this illness. Even if the data supported herd immunity could occur, it would require much more widespread infection and recovery from the illness, resulting in lasting immunity, before the level of immunity within a given community could provide protection to the group and those most vulnerable in the population.
We are not certain what the lasting effects of COVID-19 illness may be in any individual and, while most cases of illness tend to be mild with little to no symptoms, there is no definitive indicator that even mild illness will remain inconsequential to an individual.
While there is evidence that some level of antibody circulation in a person's body after infection with COVID-19 may provide initial protection from an additional infection, we are still learning what this may look like and should not risk unnecessary exposure as prevention is truly our best tool to mitigate the outcomes of population health in our communities.
Q: Why are we doing this since hospitals are not inundated with patients?
A: The metrics for healthcare capacity ebb and flow based on numerous factors . These include staffing, PPE and medical testing/treatment availability, prevalence of illness in the population to name just a few.
Our healthcare systems have repeatedly issued information warning of the nature of the staffing concerns as well as the swelling in patient numbers with further decreases in overall hospital capacity. Our largest health care providers have indicated that, at the current rate of illness spreading throughout the community and the numbers of individuals seeking healthcare, they are weeks away from needing to implement crisis standards of care which would effectively mean choosing who receives care based on clinical prioritization. These measures are in place to help reduce this burden on our health systems to maintain access to care for those that may require it.
Q: Does the order require people to wear a face covering/mask in public?
A: Yes. As of August 11, 2020 face coverings are required. Every person 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 others are present and physical distancing of 6 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:
Q: When does the order end? How is CDH deciding?
A: CDH and its Board of Health have not assigned a targeted end date for the order; instead, it will be in place until amended or made void by the Board.
MAIN COVID-19 PAGE + DATA | COVID-19 FOR HEALTHCARE
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS, SCHOOLS, GENERAL PUBLIC
CDH SERVICES DURING COVID-19
STATE OF IDAHO COVID-19 WEBSITE | IDAHO REBOUNDS WEBSITE
CDC COVID-19 WEBSITE | Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades