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Boise Mayor McLean lifts outdoor face mask order, extends indoor mask requirement 30 days

On Wednesday, Mayor McLean lifted the city's face mask mandate when outdoors. "We're nearing the end of this, as more and more people get vaccinated," she said.

BOISE, Idaho — On Wednesday afternoon, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announced that she would lift the city's face mask mandate in outdoor settings but extend the public health order for public indoor spaces for 30 days, effective Wednesday night.

“I'm grateful to the health care professionals helping us make science-based decisions and proud of the progress Boiseans are making together. We're nearing the end of this, as more and more people get vaccinated," Mayor McLean said in a statement.

The first-term mayor's decision to lift the face mask order for outdoor spaces comes after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released new face mask guidance on Tuesday, saying fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask when outside, unless they're in large crowds.

"We've had two focuses and that has been protecting public health and keeping businesses open, and a big piece of that is providing that clarity and simplicity," she during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

McLean said the purpose of the revised public health order is to keep things simple for Boiseans when they visit businesses, so food service and retail employees don't need to ask guests to wear a mask when they visit.

"Instead, our residents know that we can all look at each other's smiling faces as we're walking to and from businesses," McLean said. "But when we step in those public indoor spaces, put our masks on to protect the folks working in there, make sure they can stay open."

The new public health order will last 30 days and the city will continue to with public health officials and monitor the spread of COVID-19 within the city.

"The sacrifices everyone has made over the last year have put us in an excellent position to cautiously move forward out of this pandemic," McLean's office said in a statement.

According to the CDC, unvaccinated people should still wear a face mask when dining outside with people from different households. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should wear face masks when at concerts or sporting events.

Fully vaccinated people are safe to go without a face mask when outdoors alone or with others from the same household, the CDC said. They can also safely go without a mask in small, indoor social gatherings with other fully vaccinated people.

The City of Boise isn't the only city in the Gem State rethinking its mandate after the latest CDC guidance.

The McCall City Council will meet to discuss the area's coronavirus situation on May 6. 

The City Council identified four metrics that need to be met in order to end the face-covering order. Only three of the metrics need to be met in order to make a change to the mask mandate. 

"I think that since the beginning of this McCall has felt, as a tourist community and a really popular place to visit, that we had our own guidelines in place," said City of McCall communication manager Erin Greaves.

The City of McCall has continued the mandate due to a lot of out-of-town traffic and people having the assumption rules are relaxed. One of the McCall city council’s top priorities is keeping businesses safe and ensuring owners have policies in place to require masks on their property.

McCall's mask mandate is set to expire on May 21, unless it is ended before. 

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