Boise Mayor Lauren McLean signed an emergency public health order on Thursday stating that all individuals will be required to wear masks in public areas within Boise city limits.
The order goes into effect on July 4 at 12:01 a.m.
The mandate comes in response to the sharp spike in Ada County COVID-19 cases earlier this week. According to state public health officials, Idaho currently has 6,593 confirmed and probable cases combined.
According to McLean’s order, masks must completely cover the mouth and nose. Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors in any public place where other members of the public are present. Masks will not be required in outdoor spaces and indoor recreational facilities, such as gyms, where social distancing can be maintained.
The order states: “Individuals and businesses within Boise City are urged to voluntarily comply with this Emergency Order No. 20-10. Boise City will make efforts to educate individuals and businesses to achieve compliance.”
However, people that knowingly violate the order can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Children under the age of 5 and individuals with medical conditions, or communication impairments, will not be required to wear a mask if it is intolerable for them.
“The health and safety of everyone is always my top priority,” McLean said in a statement. “We must do all we can, as a community, to protect our most vulnerable, and slow the spread of this virus that is a serious risk to our health and economy, especially as we head into the Fourth of July holiday weekend and summer vacation season.
The City of Boise will be providing free masks to residents on July 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boise Depot and City Hall West.