REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - "Take their destiny in their own hands and by voluntarily doing the things that we know we need to do to keep ourselves safe from, from this pandemic," said Rexburg Mayor Jerry Merrill.
'United We Stand Against COVID,' as Mayor Merrill explains, is an initiative to help educate the public to remember to do things to keep people safe and the case count down.
"That is of course washing our hands, social distancing wearing masks in appropriate places and trying to avoid the mandated things that none of us really want to do, by doing it ourselves, and doing the things that we know we should do," Merrill said.
Many neighbors in Rexburg strongly oppose a mask mandate. So a week ago the council approved this initiative to prevent a need for one. Every day, Mayor Merrill updates the number of daily cases on the community bulletin board.
"So we've been up we've been as high as 37, and our magic number I guess you'd say is 40. If we hit 40 for three days in a row, then the public health department can mandate mask wearing and smaller gatherings and things like that, and that's what we're trying to avoid," Merrill said.
In hopes of spreading the word to those who don't pass the Main Street intersection on their daily commute, Mayor Merrill also updates the community via Facebook Live every day as he updates the daily number.
The initiative follows a 49 day challenge for community members to wear masks, social distance, sanitize and more to stay safe with the hopes of reaching zero cases by the 49th day which is labor day.
"We want to make sure we get our kids back in school, we want our businesses to be thriving, and we don't want to overwhelm our health system, the hospital and, the emergency services people and things"
Mayor Merrill updates the daily number after he receives it at around 6pm each day.