VICTOR, Idaho (KIFI) - Rising COVID-19 cases in Teton County, Idaho has led Victor Mayor Will Frohlich to declare a state of emergency for the city.
In making the declaration, the mayor said cases have grown exponentially over the last weeks and instituting social distancing and masking mandates may become necessary to contain the spread.
“It is unfortunate we are in this situation, but the Delta variant is extremely dangerous," Mayor Frohlich said. "Our local cases have grown exponentially over the last weeks and instituting social distancing practices and a mask mandate may once again become necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and our vulnerable neighbors.”
Mayor Frohlich has also issued an Order requiring all individuals to wear a mask or face covering compliant with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines when indoors in a public setting such as offices, retail stores, restaurant and bars, local government offices and schools within the City of Victor regardless of vaccination status.
The Mayor’s Order comes a day after he declared a State of Emergency in the City of Victor.
The Mayor’s Order requiring individuals to wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public settings with limited exceptions, will start at 12:01 am, on Monday, August 30.
“Face coverings are one of our most effective tools in this pandemic. Increasing our use of masks within the community is the easiest and best way to protect the health of our citizens from the Delta variant while still allowing our businesses to remain open and preventing our health care system from collapsing,” said Mayor Frohlich.
Indoor settings, whether public or private, are at higher risk for COVID-19 transmission, especially when you are with people outside of your home that you do not live with. Recent information from the CDC indicates that even fully vaccinated individuals can in some cases spread the Delta variant to others, and so indoor use of face coverings provides an important added layer of protection.
The following are exempt from wearing a mask or face covering at all times:
- In personal vehicles or upon residential property; and
- When a person is alone in enclosed spaces or only with other members of the same household; and
- When the individual has a bona fide religious objection to wearing a facial covering or mask; and
- Persons who are actively eating and/or drinking; and
- Persons swimming or showering in a fitness facility; and
- Persons who are obtaining a medical or cosmetic service involving the head or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service; and
- Participants in indoor recreational sports, gyms, and yoga studios may not remove their mask except while actively engaged in water-based sports (swimming, swim lessons, diving, water polo) and other sports where masks create imminent risk to health (e.g., wrestling, judo); and
- In a school setting, students with medical or behavioral exemptions; and
- Persons younger than two years old must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation; and
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance; and
- Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication; and
- Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines; and
- Participants in indoor religious gatherings may remove masks when necessary to participate in religious rituals; and
- When complying with the directions of a law enforcement officer or for the purposes of verifying a person’s identity, such as when purchasing alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs or when engaging in a financial
According to the Order, businesses will be required to post signage that states that masks are required before entering. The Order also recommends that all employers make face coverings available to individuals entering their businesses.
The new Order will remain in effect until September 30, 2021, unless extended or terminated earlier.