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TOURISTS: Controls needed now

| August 12, 2020 1:00 AM

Attn Lora Whalen,

CC Board of Health:

Considering ever-increasing numbers of persons infected with COVID-19 — particularly affected being Kootenai County — why are not obvious stringent measures being undertaken to curb the spread? Suggestions:

1. Close all downtown bars or keep at 50% capacity as during phase 3, keep restaurants at 50% capacity with plenty of table spacing.

2. Curb the influx of tourists streaming in from Spokane, Washington, Oregon, California, as well as Texas and Arizona — tourist dollars notwithstanding! What is a life worth?

3. To that end, regulate tourist influx via $1,000 fines for out-of-state license plates/cars and 14-day mandatory quarantines — as New York and Hawaii, respectively instated successfully — with COVID numbers having gone down drastically, especially in the case of New York state.

It is quite hypocritical of Panhandle Health to require the local population wear masks in all indoor spaces when none of it is being observed downtown Coeur d’Alene where tourists are streaming in en masse, no doubt part of the equation in much increased COVID numbers in the county. Interestingly, the numbers skyrocketed approximately 14 days after the July 4 weekend which was expected — with many tourists in town and jam packed downtown bars and restaurants. Nothing has changed, despite Kootenai County being designated a COVID Red Zone!

ELKE and VON HELMUTH

Coeur d’Alene