Idaho Dispatch

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Pocatello and Lewiston Pass Mask Mandates

By • November 20, 2020

Yesterday, four different mask mandates were voted on.

Idaho Dispatch previously reported that the South Central Public Health District and Panhandle Health District both voted on a mask mandate yesterday. SCPHD voted their mandate down 5-4 and PHD passed their mandate 4-2.

In addition to those two Health Districts voting on mask mandates, both Pocatello and Lewiston also voted on mask mandates.

Pocatello voted 4-2 to pass a mask mandate and Lewiston voted 4-3 to pass a mask mandate.

In Pocatello, approximately 75 people attended a protest prior to the meeting beginning according to several witnesses who spoke with Idaho Dispatch.

The city council members and the mayor were all on Zoom for the meeting. Five citizens were allowed into Pocatello City Hall at a time to testify in favor or against the mask mandate.

Idaho Dispatch has been informed by one person in attendance at the meeting that she believes all people spoke against the mandate.

Under the Pocatello mask mandate, there is a 30-day “grace period” before fines are levied against individuals who are not in compliance with the mandate. After the grace period, then an infraction can be issued which would come with a $50 fine.

The mask mandate will continue until it is canceled but will be revisited once a month to determine if it is still necessary.

Here are the city councilmembers who voted in favor of the mandate: Roger Bray, Linda Leeuwrik, Christine Stevens, and Claudia Ortega

City councilmembers voting against the mask mandate are: Rick Cheatum and Heidi Adamson

The city of Lewiston had testimony and council discussion on a mask mandate for over four hours before finally voting 4-3 in favor of the ordinance.

With Governor Little rolling Idaho back to a modified Stage 2 and limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, only a couple of citizens were let into the room at a time.

Those who wished to speak had to wait outside where the temperature was in the 30’s. Some of the citizens who spoke voiced frustration over the city council’s decision to move the meeting up a few days and holding the meeting at 3:15 p.m. PST instead of a later time when more people could attend.

In addition to in-person testimony, city councilmembers also read emails of citizens who were both for and against a mask mandate.

Councilmember Bradbury who made the motion to pass the mandate argued that something had to be down to slow the spread and that even if masks are only a little effective that it was better than doing nothing.

Councilmember Pernsteiner brought up several times that the Lewiston Police Chief, Budd Hurd, is opposed to a mandate and had written a letter to the city council telling them he was opposed.

Here are the city councilmembers who voted in favor of the mask mandate: Bob Blakey, Kevin Kelly, Kathy Schroeder, John Bradbury

And here are the city councilmembers who voted against the mask mandate: Mayor Michael Collins, John Pernsteiner, Cari Miller

The ordinance is in effect until January 25th.

For a detailed list of current mask mandates in effect, you can visit our article here.

What do you think of mask mandates? Are they necessary for public safety, a violation of personal rights, or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments below.


Tags: Christine Stevens, Claudia Ortega, Lewiston, Linda Leeuwrik, Mask Mandate, Pocatello, Roger Bray

3 thoughts on “Pocatello and Lewiston Pass Mask Mandates

  1. Masks are an assault on basic human dignity. Enforcing masks is an assault on the very basic human right of freedom over your own body. When it comes to enforcing masks on children it is an absolute disgrace. I would never put a mask on my child. My children go unmasked to a private school in Moscow. I am willing to homeschool if this is ever forced. Faces matter, there is a larger issue at hand here. Take away human dignity and what is left worth living for. If you love your neighbor you will fight to uphold freedom. Give me liberty or give me death.

  2. Having had survived a massive cerebral hemorrhage stroke I am very sensitive to even a small reduction in oxygen. Masks unfortunately reduce oxygen, increase CO2 and weaken our immune systems. Having been in California this spring at the height of Covid-19 I was sick for approximately 2 weeks. Afterwards, having the antibodies has made me much stronger. Sadly in California more people have died from suicide and depression than Covid-19 since February 2020.
    We should think long and hard before destroying lives and livelihoods for a flu virus with a 99.8% survival rate for individuals under 70.

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