The Blaine County commissioners voted to lift the countywide mask requirement today. Meanwhile, the Bellevue City Council voted in the opposite direction. Keep reading for more on those stories, plus other news from Tuesday, May 25.
• The Blaine County commissioners voted 2-1 today to rescind a countywide mask requirement that has been place since last summer. The order had covered all of unincorporated Blaine County, but when three local cities lifted their mask requirements, Commissioners Jacob Greenberg and Dick Fosbury voted to follow suit. Commissioner Angenie McCleary cast the dissenting vote.
• Meanwhile, the Bellevue City Council opted to keep its mask order in place, citing low local vaccination rates. The council determined the order would remain intact until at least 60% of eligible Bellevue residents were vaccinated against COVID-19, or until July 1—whichever comes first.
• The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has lifted a water health warning for Penny Lake issued last Thursday. The DEQ warning was initially put in place because two dogs fell ill and one died after playing in the water. The exact cause has yet to be determined, so DEQ officials still encourage pet owners to be careful.
• Idaho’s unemployment rate continued to fall last month, a year on since COVID-19 yielded historically high unemployment. Since April 2020, the hospitality and leisure industry—hardest hit by the pandemic—has seen a 67% increase in jobs.
• AAA expects Memorial Day gas prices to be the highest they’ve been since 2014, anticipating a major vacation travel boom this year.
For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.