Mask-Burning Protesters Swarm Idaho Capitol

100 people protested mask mandates, but their state has never issued one
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 7, 2021 8:20 AM CST
Kids Help Adults Burn Masks At Idaho Capitol Protest
Stock photo   (iStock / Getty Images Plus / Rattankun Thongbun)

A group of around 100 people gathered at the Idaho Capitol in Boise on Saturday to burn masks in a protest against measures taken to limit infections and deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Some groups say mask mandates are a restriction of their freedoms. Health experts say they help slow the spread of the disease. Videos posted on social media showed adults encouraging children to toss masks into a fire, per the AP. While seven Idaho counties and 11 cities have mask mandates in place, Republican Gov. Brad Little has never actually issued a statewide mandate. In fact, visitors to the Capitol are asked to wear masks, but they're not required and on Wednesday one lawmaker even introduced legislation to prohibit mask mandates altogether.

That lawmaker may feel more at home to the south in Utah, where the legislature on Friday approved lifting mask mandate April 10, per Fox 13 Salt Lake City. Dubbed the "COVID-19 endgame" bill, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said after vote that he'd sign it while Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson told reporters Saturday that the move is premature and that the state should continue to follow CDC guidelines, which advise anyone over the age of 2 to continue to wear face masks to both prevent infection and protect others from infection. "I’m certain April 10 is too soon," the mayor said. (Read more face masks stories.)

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