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Lt. Gov. McGeachin, acting governor, bans mask mandates

| May 27, 2021 11:20 AM

By KEITH RIDLER

Associated Press

BOISE — Republican Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin on Thursday issued an executive order banning mask mandates statewide among state political entities.

McGeachin is serving as acting governor while Republican Gov. Brad Little is out of state at the Republican Governors Association conference. He’s expected to return Thursday evening.

The executive order was signed by Republican Secretary or State Lawerence Denney and went into effect at 11 a.m. It applies to city and county governments, public universities, colleges and schools, and public libraries.

Little's office said McGeachin did not make Little aware she planned to issue an executive order when he left the state. Little's office said it's reviewing the executive order.

“Idahoans value local control and the local approach to addressing important issues,” Little's spokeswoman, Marissa Morrison, said in a statement.

Little has never issued a statewide mask mandate, but some counties and cities have, as have schools.

Many have been lifting the mandates as more Idaho residents are vaccinated against COVID-19. The virus has reportedly killed more than 2,000 people in Idaho.