PANHANDLE HEALTH BOARD ANNOUNCES FACE COVERING MANDATE FOR CITIZENS OF KOOTENAI COUNTY

by Chhavi Madaan | 2020-07-24

On 23rd July 2020 (Thursday), The Panhandle Health District had a meeting regarding the compulsion of face-covering for Kootenai County. Immediately, after the announcement Coeur d’Alene City Council members canceled the discussion about the same which was scheduled for Friday.

ABOUT BOARD MEETING

  • The Panhandle Health Board began their meeting by taking a vote from the public. The voting session went well beyond its allotted time that was 20 minutes.
  • Hundreds of people gathered at the Kootenai County admin’s building, but only 35 people were allowed inside the meeting and 20 people were allowed to cast vote or comment.
  • Four board members were in favor while two voted against. The casting of votes let to objections from the crowd. Before the vote, many board members expressed their doubts about the effectiveness of masks.
  • One woman was not able to put her words as she wore the mask in the entire meeting, this made her upset and so she approached the board but was eventually escorted out by a sheriff’s deputy.
  • In the meeting, the CEO of Kootenai County Health Jon Ness and the Vice President of Hospital Operations Jeremy Evans was also present who talked about two topics in detail which are as follows: –
  • Ness talked about how can the government slow the spread of COVID-19 and Evans talked about the bed capacity and the recent spike in cases in North Idaho.
  • Ness explained that till 6 July only 3 COVID patients were detected with the implementation of Phase 2 at that time and now it has risen to 26 patients with 4 deaths. Thus, showed worry for Idaho’s population which could soon be termed as a hotspot if the cases continued to rise.
  • Further, said that there are 26 ICU beds and 32 beds are dedicated to COVID patients; out of which 6 are for critical care.
  • Evans explained that Kootenai County is currently working on stage 3 of the hospital’s plan regarding how to do hospital care with COVID patients. He also said that if the patients go beyond 93 then operations including elective surgeries would get suspended. According to the presentation shown by Evans represented that hospitals have 80%-85% working capacity.
  • Jai Nelson, a board member got alarmed after hearing about the bed’s situation and argued that the community needs to take immediate steps to control the virus and improve the situation back to normal.
  • Board member Glen Bailey observed the rise in active cases but not in terms of hospitalization. Thus, as per him, education would help more than mandating mask. He was supported by another board member Allen Banks. While Dr. Richard McLandress was against it as according to him the cause of disease transmission is via droplets so wearing masks would help.

FINAL RESULT OF MEETING

  1. To do face mask such that it covers nose and mouth
  2. Maintain a distance of 6 feet.

 

STAY SAFE! STAY HEALTHY! STAY TUNED!

 

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