Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Patrol Car

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office is addressing the recent mask mandate implemented by the Panhandle Health District, saying they will focus more on education and warnings rather than enforcement.

The KCSO says the 911 center is receiving many calls regarding questions about mask wearing. For starters, authorities advises the community that 911 should be used during an emergency and that mask questions should be directed to the PHD.

The Sheriff's Office encourages the public the educate themselves on what the order entails as there can be several exemptions to the mask mandate.

"By state law, this order is a misdemeanor offense that could result in a fine or possible jail time," the KCSO wrote. "With that being said, the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for enforcing the laws of the State of Idaho and Kootenai County. Therefore any Covid 19 mask wearing violations will be dealt with on a case by case basis.  We will favor education over enforcement and will take a measured response to enforcement with a strong focusing on warnings."

The PHD voted in favor of the mask mandate in Kootenai County by a 4-2 vote Thursday, immediately receiving objections and criticism from the crowd in attendance.