Post Falls Idaho Say’s NO To Mask Mandate
Have you ever read a headline and thought to yourself... I wish I could of been a fly on the wall during that conversation? That is exactly how I felt when I read that Post Falls Idaho had voted against a mask mandate. I thought to myself... cases in Idaho are rising daily and the sentiment is that this is round two of COVID-19. Some hospitals are having to turn people away and last week I read that some North Idaho COVID-19 patients were being sent as far away as Seattle to be treated. Taking all of this info into consideration and knowing the outcome of the meeting I definitely wanted to be a fly on the wall and thanks to KREM both you and I can do just that. See the play by play and how they came to the final decision. (start at the bottom)
11:14 a.m. Motion for mask mandate fails.
11:13 a.m. KREM phtojournalist says there is about a dozen protesters outside Post Falls City Hall.
11:11 a.m. The council talks about a resolution. Alan Wolfe asks if there's a middle ground. He suggests that they only enforce a mandate when the county is in the red risk level.
11:05 a.m. Council President Linda Wilhelm reads a statement about her research on COVID. She encourages people to wear a mask.
She thinks there will be a different federal response with the upcoming change in administration.
She thinks a mask mandate will cause more division and is not in support of the mandate. She would be in favor of mask and social distancing recommendations.
She is also in favor of a mask mandate at city facilities to protect employees.
11:02 a.m. Councilmember Lynn Borders said he worked in the healthcare field. He's concerned about getting kids back in school and enforcement of the mandate.
He said he's in favor recommending wearing a mask but not a mandate.
10:58 a.m. Councilmember Steve Anthony says he works at Kootenai Health and he's seen the impact of COVID first hand. Families bring him personal items to give to their family members who are in the COVID wing. He doesn't bring them up there personally but he makes sure they get them.
"What we do effects people." he said.
He supports the mandate.
10:52 a.m. Councilmember Joe Malloy blames the media for how the pandemic has been handled calling it "criminal." He says he knows two people who have died of COVID and he knows the virus is real and it's not the flu. He says he wears a mask in public but doesn't care if other people wear them as long as they don't get near him. He expresses concerns about enforcement due to people not wearing masks correctly.
"Forcing people to do it isn't going to solve the problem," he said.
He ends by saying he's against the mandate.
10:50 a.m. Council member Alan Wolfe said his top priorities are keeping businesses and schools open. He said he sees a mask mandate as a speeding ticket. He supports the mandate.
10:46 a.m. Council member Kerri Thoreson gives statement. She talks about what she's doing to protect herself and her neighbors from COVID-19. She says she doesn't think a mask mandate is necessary and it won't change behavior. She said it would burden police. She believes the virus "run its course."
She said she has though long and hard on deciding against the mandate.
10:41 a.m. Council member asks about social distancing. Banging and screaming continues.
10:37 a.m. Person yelling "Let me in" heard in the background during a discussion on COVID cases specifically in Post Falls. No one has addressed the screaming and banging specifically except to say they couldn't hear.
10:35 a.m. Screaming is heard in the background while doctor talks about underlying conditions impact on COVID patients.
10:30 a.m. Councilmember asks if the effectiveness of masks is a fact or an opinion. She says expert opinion is that masks slow the spread of the virus.
10:29 a.m. Councilmember asks if the hospital is making a bunch of money off COVID-19. The staff member said that isn't true.
10:27 a.m. Banging is heard while the staff member is speaking about staff shortages.
10:19 a.m. A staff member presents information on hospital capacity at Kootenai Health starting with positivity rates and COVID admissions. Over 45 COVID patients were hospitalized as of Nov. 4.
10:17 a.m. Doctor compares COVID-19 to SARS, H1N1, the seasonal flu and the 1918 flu in terms of infections and deaths.
10:13 a.m. Doctor describes how COVID-19 is spread and how masks help slow the spread.
10:09 a.m. Internal medicine doctor presents information on the local experience regarding COVID-19. She says 95 COVID-19 patients have required critical care so far and they've seen 30 deaths.
10:05 a.m. CEO of Kootenai Health talks about the hospital's perspective in caring for coronavirus patients. He says their three messages are that COVID-19 cases on the rise, they've been hovering near capacity and that the hospital is nearing capacity.
10:02 a.m. Mayor Ron Jacobson compares wearing a mask to wearing a seatbelt. He believes it does not violate anyone's constitutional rights.