People going to the Ketchum post office may risk getting more than holiday packages and Christmas cards.

Ketchum City Councilwoman Amanda Breen penned an opinion published last week in which she reported that despite requests from her and other patrons, the postmaster refuses to wear a mask.

The postmaster and any postal employees who follow suit are violating a U.S. Postal Service policy that’s been in force since spring.

USPS requires all employees to wear face coverings in locations where a state or local mandate is in place and social distancing cannot be achieved. Customers are asked to wear masks, too.

Ketchum’s official mask and social distancing mandate has been in place since spring, when Blaine County became ground zero for COVID-19 in Idaho. People here learned the lessons of the pandemic the hard way. The hospital had to suspend certain procedures because capacity, staff and resources became strained. Patients with serious cases of coronavirus had to be treated at hospitals in Twin Falls and Boise. Several died.

The postmaster’s refusal to wear a mask to protect other postal employees and patrons is unconscionable. The coronavirus is burning through Idaho and cold weather is forcing people into confined spaces like long lines in post offices this holiday season. Hospitals are warning that they may soon be forced to ration care.

Just mailing a package shouldn’t be a high-risk event. USPS should insist that all postmasters and employees obey its own mask policy to protect the public it serves. Those who won’t comply should find other lines of work.


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

Load comments