The city of Sun Valley has not taken steps to enact a COVID-19 vaccination requirement after three City Council members expressed interest in the idea earlier this month.
On Sept. 2, City Council President Michelle Griffith and Councilors Jane Conard and Keith Saks directed to Mayor Peter Hendricks and City Attorney Matt Johnson to draft an ordinance for the city to again mandate masks in specified situations and to research the possibility of requiring vaccinations against COVID-19. Councilman Brad DuFur was absent from the meeting because of a family emergency.
In a special meeting Sept. 14, the City Council voted to enact a health order mandating that masks be worn indoors in public places. Mayor Peter Hendricks included on the agenda a discussion—not to be acted upon—about a potential vaccine requirement.
In the meeting, Johnson said the city would likely face a legal challenge and resistance from the Idaho Legislature.
“There’s just a lot of uncertainty as to how this will all play out,” he said.
DuFur expressed concern about how a COVID-19 vaccine requirement would affect businesses and how it would be enforced.
City Administrator Walt Femling voiced concerns about the effects a mandate would have on staffing levels in city government and that it could prompt losses in local tax revenues generated from tourism.
Conard advocated for a vaccine requirement.
“If there’s a will, if people are behind it, it could be done,” she said.
Conard expressed concern about mounting COVID-19 case numbers putting pressure on health systems in Idaho.
“We are straining our medical system and we are subjecting people to illness that is not necessary,” she said.
After an hour of discussion on the matter, the meeting was adjourned.
On Wednesday, Hendricks said there has been no additional discussion about the issue since the Sept. 14 meeting. He has not yet developed an agenda for the City Council’s next meeting on Oct. 7, he said.