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Health board mandates masks districtwide

by CRAIG NORTHRUP
Staff Writer | November 19, 2020 2:14 PM

The Panhandle Health District voted Thursday afternoon for a district-wide mask mandate in the five northern-most counties in Idaho, effective immediately.

The mandate will remain in effect for 60 days, barring a future board mandate to reverse the decision. Failure to adhere to health board mandates is a misdemeanor.

Kootenai, Bonner, Shoshone and Boundary counties have all been in the substantial “Red” categories for at least two weeks. Benewah County was moved into the “Red” category today.

Board members Dr. Allan Banks and Glen Bailey were the two “no” votes. Shoshone County Commissioner Mike Fitzgerald, nurse Jai Nelson, Dr. Richard McLandress, M.D. and chair Marlow Thompson all voted “yes.”

Boundary County commissioner Walt Kirby, citing political pressure, abstained.

This is a developing story.