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McCall City Council extends mask mandate

Mayor Bob Giles said the city's residents and business owners overwhelmingly support the requirement to wear face coverings in public places.

The McCall City Council on Thursday night voted to extend the city's mask mandate for another 30 days. 

The mandate, which requires everyone to wear face coverings in all public places where social distancing can not be maintained, first went into effect on July 2. It was set to expire on Saturday.

Mayor Bog Giles said in a news release that the city had received hundreds of comments in support of extending the mandate.

"We can always count on our citizens to lead the way for City Council, we have a wonderfully supportive community that is dedicated to putting our people's health first," Giles said.

The Council also heard from a doctor at St. Luke's McCall who encouraged them to keep the mask order in place.

Anyone who refuses to comply could face a $100 civil penalty.

"Our police department always looks for compliance through education, but in the case that someone is violating the order, having a clear direction for officers is imperative," McCall Police Chief Justin Williams said in a statement.  

Back in early July, there were questions about how popular vacation areas like McCall would deal with mask mandates.

Giles told KTVB they have received great support for the city’s order since it went into effect earlier this month.

“80% or more were in favor of renewing the mandate,” Giles said.

In practice, the requirement has been taken seriously.

“I think we are exceeding 90% compliance, so I think the requirement, the mandate, the order, the resolution those things have really made it more clear,” Giles said.

RELATED: These Idaho cities are requiring masks to be worn in public

Before the order, about half the city was masking up, according to Giles, who added that business owners and the people of McCall continue to support the order.

“It takes a little pressure off the business owners," Giles said. "They are not getting yelled at, they are not getting harassed because they can explain that it’s the law of the City of McCall."

While Giles is happy with the mask compliance in the city, he is well aware things aren’t perfect. His office has received reports about private gatherings not following mask or social distance guidelines.

“It’s not like we’ve flattened the curve, and nothing is happening," he said. "We think we still have some community spread going on at least the last couple of weeks."

While he is optimistic about the situation, Giles asks that residents and visitors keep taking care of each other by following their rules.

“Please continue to do that it will help us with reopening schools in the fall and it will help keep the people that are in business open," he said. "We won’t have to shut down."

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