(City of Pocatello Press Release, November 17, 2020)

2020–2021 City Council: Linda Leeuwrik, Rick Cheatum, Roger Bray, Claudia Ortega (back row); Heidi Adamson, Brian Blad, Chris Stevens (front row) (Photo Credit: City of Pocatello)

At the Pocatello City Council’s Regular Meeting Thursday, Councilmembers will consider a public health emergency ordinance requiring masks to be worn in all public places or when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

Under the proposed ordinance, “every person shall, when in any indoor or outdoor public place, completely cover their nose and mouth when members of the public are physically present for otherwise unprotected social interaction with persons other than household members.”

Exceptions are provided for:

– Children under the age of 5.

– Persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering.  A person is not required to provide documentation demonstrating that the person cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering.

– 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.

– Persons, including on-duty law-enforcement officers, for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

– Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose, face, or head for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.

– Persons who are eating or drinking at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, so long as the person is able to maintain social distancing, as recommended by the CDC, from persons who are not members of the same household or party as the person.

– Persons who are incarcerated.

– Patrons of gyms so long as the gym is following a plan approved by the local health district.

– Outdoor and/or indoor public places where people can maintain social distancing as recommended by the CDC.

The proposed ordinance includes a 30-day time period for educating the public about the ordinance.  After 30 days, those who don’t comply with the ordinance would be cited with an infraction and fined $50.  Additionally, the “ordinance shall be revisited at the first Regular City Council meeting of January 2021, and every first Regular City Council meeting of each month thereafter, unless sooner repealed.”

To read the proposed public health emergency ordinance, visit bit.ly/3pBC339.

The meeting is not a public hearing and testimony from the public will not be accepted during the meeting.  Before the meeting, residents can submit their comments about the ordinance via email to the Mayor at bit.ly/35AtU74 and the City Council at bit.ly/2UGW2yV or by calling 208-234-6163.

In-person attendance is extremely limited in accordance with Governor Little’s Modified Stage 2 order limiting in-person gatherings to 10 or fewer people.  Masks/face coverings are required.

Citizens can watch the proceedings online at streaming.pocatello.us or on television at Government Access Channel 56 with a Sparklight (formerly CableOne) subscription.

Thursday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.


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