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‘People don’t seem to care’

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | August 19, 2020 1:00 AM

Cd’A senior asks people to please be respectful, wear masks

COEUR d’ALENE — Lou Torretta and his wife are in their 70s and have called Coeur d’Alene home for 27 years.

For the past six months, in response to the threat of COVID-19, they have rarely gone out. When they do, it’s usually to the grocery store and they wear masks and keep their distance.

But, they are finding, others don’t share their health concerns.

Even an outing to the store is becoming what they believe isn’t safe, as many people are not wearing a mask and not keeping 6 feet from others. The other day, he said a group of adults and kids in the store seemed oblivious about the dangers of the coronavirus, especially to older residents.

“People don’t seem to care,” he said Tuesday in a phone interview with The Press.

Lou Torretta is disappointed that the Panhandle Health District passed a mandate that requires Kootenai County residents to wear masks when in public places and social distancing isn’t possible, and people don’t do it. He’s disappointed stores have signs that say customers should wear masks, and they refuse.

“It would be nice if people contributed to the health of the community,” he said.

Torretta said he shared his concerns with a store manager, but was told there was nothing they could do, as people can claim a medical exemption. A call to state health officials resulted with a suggestion he shop elsewhere, as there was nothing more the PHD can do.

So Lou Torretta is reaching out himself. He is asking people young and old to follow the rules put in place for their health and the health of others, including himself and his wife.

He’s asking them to please be respectful and courteous. That’s it. He and his wife will appreciate it.

“I don’t want to die,” he said. “Please be more considerate.”

In the meantime, there were 31 new coronavirus cases in the PHD on Tuesday, bringing the total cases to 2,497. That was the third straight day of new cases being in the 30s after several days above 50.

There have been 28 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the PHD, with two in their 60s and 26 over the age of 70. Twenty-two of the deaths were Kootenai County residents.

There are 22 people currently hospitalized, with six requiring critical care at Kootenai Health.

There are 1,901 closed cases in the PHD, and 596 active cases, which is about 0.24 percent of the district’s population.

Kootenai County has 1,996 cases, Bonner is at 192, Shoshone is at 170, Benewah is at 78 and Boundary is at 42.