In stride with the rest of the county, the Bellevue City Council tonight will consider rescinding its health order following the relaxing of mask guidance by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bellevue signed a declaration of emergency on March 20, 2020, following the state’s emergency declaration a week earlier. The city most recently extended its Emergency Powers Ordinance in March, 2021, to September, but removed the mayor and council’s authority to enforce quarantine laws within 5 miles of city limits. The health order, tied to the emergency powers ordinance, mandates the use of face coverings with the penalty of a $50 fine if violated.
In recent weeks, the cities of Hailey, Sun Valley and Ketchum have all lifted their health orders, defaulting to the state’s Stage 4 Idaho Rebounds guidelines. Along with the CDC’s new recommendations, local governments cited high area vaccination rates as a reason to no longer require masks. However, Bellevue’s vaccination rates are lagging behind its neighbors’.
“How are we going to know if somebody is vaccinated?” City Councilwoman Tammy Davis asked last week. “We will have to trust people. It’s good to continue to promote masks and social distancing, but I can’t make anyone wear a mask.”
The Bellevue City Council meets this evening at 6 p.m. The public can view the meeting via the city’s website, bellevueidaho.us.