Campaign Notebook: Full hospitals, masks and guns

Campaign Notebook: Full hospitals, masks and guns

Post Register reporter Nathan Brown JOHN ROARK | jroark@postregister.com The biggest stories in Idaho last week — a two-day “sickout” by West Ada teachers, hospitals in some parts of the state overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients — all had to do with coronavirus. While this isn’t the type of thing I usually write about in this column, it is very much a political story in the sense that the official response to coronavirus has become one of the most divisive issues in the state and will likely dominate much of next year’s legislative session. When Gov. Brad Little lifted most statewide coronavirus restrictions this spring, he put responsibility going forward in the hands of local health districts and has since resisted calls for a statewide mask mandate or other regulations, saying they should be local decisions and emphasizing voluntary compliance. Last week Little urged people to exercise personal responsibility in the face of rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. “This is about personal responsibility — something Idaho is all about,” Little said. “Wear a mask. Watch your distance from others. Wash your hands. Do these things so our kids can stay in school, our loved ones stay safe, and our economy can continue to prosper.” While a few cities and public health districts have passed mask mandates (there is one in effect in Bonneville County at the moment), others have resisted them, including in areas with a high number of cases. On Wednesday, the South Central Public Health District board voted […]

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