Central District Health exceeds its authority with quarantine order, threats regarding face masks

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff Articles, Coronavirus Leave a Comment

Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman released the following notice to the public regarding the Central District Health’s edict for bars and nightclubs to close indefinitely beginning 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, as well as the agency director’s threat he might order Ada County residents to wear facemasks: 

Once again, the definitions of “quarantine” and “isolation” are being stretched to their absolute breaking points. Bars and nightclubs are not, per state law, a “place or premises where an infectious agent or hazardous material exists,” under the state’s quarantine rules. Even if that were so, the state regulations cited by Central District Health Director Russell A. Duke require him to “make an assessment and identify the least restrictive means of isolation that effectively protects unexposed and susceptible individuals from the public health threat” and “identify the least restrictive timeframe of quarantine that effectively protects unexposed and susceptible individuals to the infection of public health threat.” It appears the director has done neither of these things.

Furthermore, there is no authority, in statute or in regulation, for a government agency to require that Idahoans wear face masks. The director’s threats that such an order might be forthcoming is wholly without merit. Should that mandate be pursued, it deserves to be ignored as unlawful and unenforceable. Ada County residents should decide for themselves if they want to don a mask or not.