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City of Boise lifting mask requirements, easing COVID rules for events

The mask requirement and other COVID policies will end Monday, March 7. Masks are still required at the airport because of federal rules.

BOISE, Idaho — Boise Mayor Lauren McLean is lifting the face covering requirement for events and city buildings. 

The mayor's office also announced she is easing other COVID-19 safety policies, including physical distancing requirements and limits on the size of gatherings at events for which the city issues permits.

The changes will take effect Monday, March 7, and reflect the State of Idaho's COVID-19 case data, which indicates that Ada County is a medium-risk area.

"COVID-19 numbers are down and staying down, which means I can make this change," McLean said. "We didn't get here by accident. I'd like to thank everyone who was willing to think of their community, maintain physical distancing, and simply put on a mask when going into a public building. Together, we helped make this a safer and healthier city for everyone."

The complete list of COVID-19 safety policy updates taking effect Monday are:

  • Face masks in city facilities are optional for staff and visitors. These include Boise City Hall, City Hall West, the Boise Public Library, branch libraries, recreation facilities, water renewal facilities and city office buildings.
  • Physical distancing requirements are no longer in effect.
  • Gathering size limitations are no longer in effect.
  • COVID-19 special event requirements are no longer required.
  • Masks are still required at Boise Airport due to federal guidelines

"The City of Boise will continue to monitor the COVID-19 health crisis and consult with state and local health officials to quickly change or modify health orders as needed," the mayor's office said in a news release. "Please get vaccinated if you can and continue to do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community."

Boise's mayor also said strategies like using wastewater testing to track COVID-19 spread and other "cutting edge" work by city staff helped keep people safe, and helped save hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. In an expert review of Boise's costs, other cities similar in size spent 3-5 times as much on COVID-related health insurance payouts.

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