Boise COVID Update: Closures and Enforcement

From Mayor Lauren McLean today:

Boise is currently experiencing a COVID-19 health crisis. The rate of spread is rising, and experts predict that without action, the infection rate will increase exponentially. Current community hospital models require immediate action to keep our community safe, ease the burden on the health care system and control community spread. What we are currently doing is not working. If we do not change our approach our health and our economy will suffer.

The Governor has moved Idaho back to a stage 2 reopening and limited gatherings to no more than 10 people for public and private events across Idaho. Boise needs to do more to protect residents here in the largest most densely populated area in our state.

On Monday, November 23, several city facilities will close to the public. City Hall, City Hall West, City of Boise Libraries, Boise WaterShed, Foothills Learning Center, Boise Depot, Boise Urban Garden School, Fort Boise Community Center and the James Castle House will all be temporarily closed to the public. The closures will last until at least January 15. Services will be offered remotely whenever possible, as they were during the previous Stage 2. Boise Libraries will continue to offer curbside services and computer access.

Idaho IceWorld, the Boise Senior Center, and Boise Municipal Pools will be closed through the Summer of 2021. The decision to close these facilities on a more permanent basis was made with the safety of our staff and our community as the immediate priority. Additionally, the City of Boise reviewed the budget implications of maintaining and operating these facilities when making this decision. Curbside lunch service will continue to be offered at the Senior Center for seniors who rely on this affordable lunch option.

We must put the community’s health first that’s why, in the interest of public health, the City of Boise issued a Public Health Order, effective Monday, November 23. It will include the following:

  • Requires face coverings
  • Limits city board and commissions meetings
  • Restricts Boise Airport access and other unique city businesses
  • Creates consequences for individuals and businesses who knowingly violate orders

The city will partner with the business community to protect businesses adhering to public health protocols and hold those that are not accountable. The best way to slow community spread is to work together, but Boise can no longer allow people and businesses to undermine the sacrifices others have made. That is why the city is reaching out to businesses to offer assistance when customers will not follow COVID-19 guidelines. We know it can sometimes be difficult for staff to enforce these rules and the city is here to help.

If you are a business that needs support enforcing your COVID-19 protocols, call the Boise Police Department non-emergency dispatch at 208-377-6790.

Boise Police will be available to issue a citation or arrest an individual who won’t comply with a business’s protocols once the individual has been asked to leave the business. BPD will respond at the request of the business for assistance.

The city will also partner with Boise residents who have concerns about businesses that refuse to follow public health orders. We want to know who is putting the health and safety of this community a risk. Residents will be able to file a complaint against a business where staff or patrons won’t comply with COVID-19 emergency health orders.

Residents who want to file a complaint against a business should call the City Clerk at (208) 608-7040.

The City of Boise will respond to resident complaints by inspecting city licensed businesses and referring businesses not licensed by the city to Central District Health. The city will inform the business that a complaint has been filed against them. The city will work with the business to educate them on the public health orders and advise them of potential consequences for continuing to violate state law and municipal ordinance.

Businesses licensed by the City of Boise that are found to pose a clear and immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the public may have their business license suspended for at least 10 days on the first violation, at least 20 days on the second violation and a year revocation on a third violation.

For questions, or more information on City of Boise services, please visit www.cityofboise.org/covid-19.

 

~Debbie