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N. Idaho commissioner wants to defund public health district

November 26, 2020 GMT

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — A county commissioner in northern Idaho has proposed defunding the local health district after the district instituted a mask mandate to slow the spread of the coronavirus as it surges in the area.

The Bonner County Dailey reports that Bonner County Commissioner Steven Bradshaw proposed the resolution Tuesday to pull about $250,000 from the Panhandle Health District.

Commission Chairman Dan McDonald said the resolution will have to be placed on the agenda before it can be considered at next week’s meeting.

The health district ordered the mask mandate on Nov. 19.

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Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler says his agency won’t enforce the mask mandate.

The Panhandle Health District covers five northern Idaho counties. The district reports the area has more than 9,000 virus cases and 106 deaths. The district reported 185 new cases on Wednesday, and that 74 people were hospitalized in the district due to the virus.