Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask and face covering guidance and in consultation with Southeastern Idaho Public Health, the City of Pocatello will be requiring masks or face coverings at all indoor City facilities effective Thursday, July 29.
The policy requires City employees and citizens who enter City facilities and participate in indoor programs and activities to wear a mask or face covering. Masks continue to be required to ride Pocatello Regional Transit buses and for anyone entering Pocatello Regional Airport per President Joe Biden’s executive order.
For citizens participating in City of Pocatello sponsored programs and activities in outdoor spaces, face coverings are not required to be worn but the City is strongly encouraging individuals to maintain six feet of physical distancing.
The policy was announced at a news conference Wednesday with Southeastern Idaho Public Health District Director Maggie Mann, Portneuf Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Jordan Herget, and Dr. Dan Snell. During the news conference, all the participants highlighted the importance of getting vaccinated.
“We’ve seen the stories from around the nation of people begging for vaccines just before going on a ventilator,” said Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad. “My heart breaks for these people and their families. I pray that we won’t ever hear about one of these stories in Pocatello.”
“We have proven, safe, and effective vaccines against COVID-19,” said Maggie Mann, Southeastern Idaho Public Health District Director. “We strongly encourage people to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families, and our communities.”
“The COVID-19 vaccines are clearly preventing COVID-19 infections, and in the few instances of breakthrough infection, they are preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death among those who are vaccinated,” Jordan Herget, CEO of Portneuf Medical Center. “This has become a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’ Our current COVID-19 inpatients are more than 90 percent unvaccinated people. We continue to strongly encourage everyone in our community to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and work to dispel misinformation about the vaccines that threaten the lives of those who may be persuaded by these false claims.”
As of July 28, the vaccination rate for Bannock County was 49 percent, according to Southeastern Idaho Public Health.
For a list of COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Bannock County, visit siphidaho.org/covid19-vaccine-clinics.php.
To view the CDC’s updated guidance, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html.