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Sheriff - News

Posted on: July 9, 2020

Message from Sheriff Steve Harkins: Mask Ordinance Enforcement

Sheriff Steve Harkins

As your Sheriff, I want to explain our enforcement strategy on the newly adopted ordinances requiring masks in public places.

Blaine County Ordinance 2020-03, which was adopted by the Board of Commissioners on July 7, 2020, requires that when social distancing is not possible, every person shall wear a face covering that completely covers the person’s nose and mouth when the person is in a public place and others are present. Blaine County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be enforcing this mask ordinance in the unincorporated areas of Blaine County, Idaho. 

The City of Ketchum, for whom we provide law enforcement services, adopted a similar mask ordinance on July 6, 2020. The Ketchum Police Division of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing the Ketchum Public Health Emergency Ordinance 20-03 within the Ketchum city limits.

Our enforcement will begin with education, warnings, and awareness. Our deputies will continue to take a common-sense approach and consider the context of each situation similar to how we approached the statewide COVID-19 Isolation Order. If warranted, citations will be issued. Our deputies will use their discretion wisely and treat the public with respect, fairness, and compassion. We want to reassure the public we are here performing our duties and honoring our sworn oath to protect our community’s safety and uphold the law. 

There are minor differences in the language and notable exemptions in both ordinances. We encourage you to read and interpret the ordinances for your self. Both ordinances are available on our website

Enforcement in the cities of Hailey, Bellevue, and Sun Valley are the responsibilities of their city police departments.  

We continue to stress the importance of remaining diligent about social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks out in public, and minimizing unnecessary social gatherings. To protect public health we need every single person to be part of the solution. 

Sheriff Steve Harkins

Blaine County, Idaho

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