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Fort Hall Business Council approves mask mandate

Sign outside Trading Post in Fort Hall, Idaho
Sign outside Trading Post in Fort Hall, Idaho

FORT HALL, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - This past Friday, Fort Hall became the latest in Southeast Idaho to require masks going forward.

The Fort Hall Business Council has approved a face mask mandate for the Fort Hall Reservation. It is effective immediately.

It is in effect as of right now," said Shoshone-Bannock Tribe Chairman Devon Boyer. "We need to make sure that everybody is understanding that they have to have a mask. You have to have social distancing as much as possible."

The Business Council stated it believes increased penalties are necessary to ensure health directives are followed.

Face masks are required in all public places and businesses, including restaurants and bars. To comply, a face mask must fit snugly around the nose and mouth. The only exception is for persons under the age of 2 or those who have trouble beathing and cannot remove a mask without assistance.

The resolution says the mandate is espcially aimed at protecting those at high risk to COVID-19, including people over the age of 65 and people with compromised health or medical concerns.

The Fort Hall community is currently experiencing a test positivity rate of 30%, blamed on uncontrolled community spread of the virus.

Some of those who have the virus may experience few or no symptoms, but can still unknowingly pass it on to others.

With assistance from the Idaho National Guard, the reservation is undergoing mass testing to help find those people with minimal symptoms.

"It is really important that this screening is to identify those asymptomatic people, which are those that are carriers of the virus." said Shoshone-Bannock Tribe Public Affairs Manager Randy'L Teton.

Teton says rapid testing should speed up the process of receiving COVID-19 test results. She says to not be alarmed if you do not receive a phone call upon completion of the test.

"They will give you a call if you are positive," Teton said. "If you are negative, then you will not receive a phone call. So, no news is good news in this case."

Any Tribal or business employee or representative may enforce the regulation and those who fail to comply may be removed from a business or public place, could be found in trespass, and subject to remedies available in Tribal Law and Order Code.

You can view the complete order here.

Article Topic Follows: Local News

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8.


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