Tonight at midnight, the City of Pocatello's public health emergency ordinance takes effect. It requires masks be worn in public places. The City of Chubbuck's mayor tells KPVI there are no plans for the city to follow in its neighbor's footsteps right now.
"Bless them for what they're doing and I hope they can make the right decision for their community," Mayor Kevin England says. The Chubbuck mayor offers support to the Pocatello City Council and Mayor Brian Blad after the council voted to approve a city-wide mask mandate Thursday evening.
While the two cities share borders, they don't necessarily share the same needs. "There are some dynamics between our two cities that are a little bit different because of the makeup of our communities that may cause them (Pocatello leaders) a little more concern," Mayor England adds.
England says he and other city leaders are concerned for their community's health. However, they do not see a need for a mask mandate at the current time.
"We'll keep a close eye on it," England states. "We'll try to do the best we can to get our community to appropriately participate the way they should. If we felt there was a cause for that, we wouldn't hesitate to put that in place if that had to happen."
The mayor says he is often around town and believes Chubbuck residents are already doing well at practicing safe health habits in public, like wearing a face covering.
The Pocatello City Council will revisit the emergency ordinance at its next regularly scheduled meeting and decide whether the mandate needs to remain in place for another month or be retired. "Again," England begins. "I wish them the very best and I hope they can make the best decision for their community."
The mayor says he's confident in Pocatello's leadership doing what needs to be done to meet the community's needs during this unprecedent time.
He also encourages everyone to listen to health experts and do their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. He's positive that by working together, we'll make it through the pandemic.