Idaho Falls City Council approves COVID-19; develop the subpoena procedure

Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper at Tuesday City Council Courtesy of Idaho Falls

IDAHO FALL – The city of Idaho Falls on Tuesday night passed a resolution to slow the spread of COVID-19.

At the meeting of the city council, the members of the council adopted a multi-part decision. First, the resolution explains that the city council and mayor will “approve and support” both the East Idaho Public Health COVID-19 Regional Response Plan and Governor Little’s November 14 restrictions on public activities in the retaliatory Idaho Phase 2.

The resolution also states that the city council, the mayor and city departments expect each member of the community to adhere to the EIPH response plan and Little’s manifesto.

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Finally, the City of Idaho Falls “shall develop and implement, by December 1, 2020, subpoena and prosecution procedures for organizers of public events whose participants exceed the collection permitted by the Idaho Governor with the resumption of Idaho restrictions”.

“Small steps taken by government organizations, but also by individuals in the community, can be a big step forward in reducing surge,” Councilor Jim Francis said during the meeting. “We need to know that this (COVID-19) is temporary, but now we can all help each other with a series of small steps.”

During the discussion, Mayor Rebecca Casper explained that Little’s command is quite vague and there are “loopholes” that make it difficult to apply and enforce.

Before voting on the decision, he asked the council to “be very realistic in terms of our expectations”.

“We can see that with all our efforts – the Council effort, the police effort and the legal effort – it is still unable to hold on,” she said.

COVID-19 was voted on Tuesday evening. | Courtesy of Idaho Falls

Courtesy of Idaho Falls

Courtesy of Idaho Falls

Back in July, the EIPH Board unanimously ordered restrictions on mandatory gatherings and masks in County Bonneville.

On Thursday, County Bonneville was moved to the highest level of the EIPH response plan after showing at least 45 cases of active COVID-19 per 10,000 people on three consecutive days.

The critical level of risk indicates an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases. On Tuesday, Bonneville had 134 new COVID-19 cases to increase all confirmed and probable cases to 7,191 since mid-March. This is the most the case in the eight county regions of EIPH. A case is considered probable if a person has not been tested or is in the process of being tested and has all the symptoms of COVID-19, has been in direct contact with an infected person, and the symptoms have developed within the expected time.

Bonneville currently has 585 active cases and is responsible for more than half of the 58 deaths in the health district to date.

Michelle Ziel-Dingman, President-in-Office of the Council, said that due to the growing number of cases of COVID-19, she felt it was important for government agencies to increase their support for Little’s proclamation and enforcing the boundaries within the plan.

“I think mitigation strategies can slow the spread. We will never be able to stop the spread completely, but I would like to see children and businesses open up at school and our community as prosperous as possible, ”Ziel-Dingman explained. “I find it particularly important that the council gives this direction to the mayor and the city that public events will not be tolerated without the consequences of a rebounding Idaho plan.”

Idaho Falls is not the first local city to discuss the role it can play in keeping community members safe during COVID-19.

Last week, Rexburg discussed the possible enforcement of the mask order, but no decision had yet been made at the time. Pocatello, on the other hand, passed a mask decree on Thursday that includes fines if residents don’t wear one. Boise recently announced similar implementing guidelines.

In all three cases, protesters appeared in response to the actions of local governments. Tuesday night, however, there was no protest at Idaho Falls City Hall.

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