Mask on the ground teton

Discarded masks have become a common sight in the past year. 

On Tuesday, April 20, the Driggs City Council voted to lift the city’s mandatory mask mandate, effective on Monday, April 26, because ICU usage across the region is down and vaccines are available to all adults. The Teton Board of County Commissioners followed suit on Wednesday, April 28, and Victor also voted on Wednesday to lift its mandate.

The Driggs mayor passed an emergency ordinance on Thursday, July 2, 2020, requiring masks to be worn in public, and the city council later ratified the ordinance. Victor and Teton County announced their own orders soon thereafter. The mandates have been in place since then.

The reason for the order, explained the community’s leaders in a letter this March, was to save lives; to prevent another business shutdown; to keep schools open; to prevent overwhelming local medical facilities; and to protect the community from the high level of outside visitors and commuters.

Vaccines are readily available to everyone aged 16 and up. (Over 45 percent of Teton County residents have received at least one dose, according to the state vaccination dashboard, although more than a thousand residents were vaccinated in Wyoming, which pushed that percentage to over 50.) Regional ICU usage remains below 75 percent. Local governments are relaxing their restrictions accordingly.

Businesses can still require mask-wearing of customers, according to the new Driggs, Victor, and county orders. Any place where a “mask required” sign is posted, the mandate still applies, including county facilities, Victor City Hall and council chambers, and Driggs City Hall and community center. 

There was never a mask order in Tetonia. The school board agreed on April 19 to uphold the mask requirements within the public school district until the end of the school year.

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