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No arrests, citations so far on Boise’s health order; Clarity on business compliance rules

Monday marked the first day the City of Boise started enforcing its public health orders in the city.

City of Boise Communications Director Seth Ogilvie told BoiseDev Tuesday morning the city took 17 complaints on Monday. However, later in the day he sent updated numbers that there were actually 31 “actionable complaints” Monday. The city had another 24 such complaints on Tuesday.

So far, none of the issues led to either arrests or citations, though some inspections and reports remain in pending status.

Boise Police Department officers responded to three calls for service related to the mandates Monday, one fewer than the numbers provided earlier in the day. The department responded to six calls Tuesday.

The city said it made no arrests on Monday or Tuesday.

“The events were resolved by the time police got there,” Ogilvie said early Tuesday, before providing updated numbers.

[Citations, arrests possible for violating new COVID-19 restrictions in Boise]

Guidelines for business

Since the city and Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said they would enforce mask wearing and other orders in the city, a number of different scenarios cropped up on social media from businesses and employees.

We worked to get clarity from Ogilvie on what is – and isn’t – a problem under the city’s order.

He said if a business is doing its best to gain compliance with the mask or other mandates, they wouldn’t face penalties from the city.

“If a business is doing everything they can to keep people in compliance, if they are taking all the reasonable steps to mitigate it, they shouldn’t worry,” he said. “We are not trying to punish a business that’s try to do everything right.”

For instance, if a business takes action but a customer doesn’t comply, the city would not move to punish the business – even if other people complain.

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But, if a business is not taking any steps to bring customers into compliance, and someone complains, they could see action from the city. If an investigation from the Boise City Clerk’s office determines the business didn’t comply with the public health order, they could suspend the business’s license.

Simply put: If a business is trying, they’re OK. If they’re not – they could face enforcement.

Businesses who are dealing with a difficult customer and need help can ask for help from Boise Police.

“If a business asks a customer to put their mask on and they refuse, police can respond if they are asked to leave on a trespassing situation,” Ogilvie said.

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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