Concert venue

Idaho’s Great Concert Hall will still recommend masks, but won’t require them

The chief executive of the Ford Idaho Center said no case of COVID-19 has been directly linked to the events at the arena, even without a mask warrant there.

NAMPA, Idaho – The Ford Idaho Center in Nampa typically attracts between 350,000 and 400,000 people per year.

Since June, the hall has been at full capacity and has returned to normal.

Following recent updated CDC guidelines for everyone in an indoor public place to mask, Idaho Center management said it would proceed as usual with masks – not required, but recommended.

“People don’t really wear masks that often. I certainly see people doing it, and it’s great. I see people who have chosen not to, and that’s okay too, ”said Andrew Luther, general manager of the Ford Idaho Center.

Luther said the venue was functioning well and was able to stay open due to sanitation practices between and during performances. He added that even without a mask requirement, no direct COVID-19 infection has been attributed to the events at the center.

With COVID on the rise and new CDC guidelines to be masked, the current recommendations from the Ford Idaho Center will remain the same. According to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, Canyon County is in the “high risk” red category, which signifies a high level of transmission.

Luther said if Southwest District Health comes up with a recommendation for the center to require masks, the venue will take it into consideration.

So until then operations will continue and current COVID protocols will remain – masks recommended, not required – and social distancing or capacity limits will not be enforced.

Luther said that not only do concerts and in-person performances bring joy to many, but a large event can employ up to 500 people part-time, which the economy needs.

“Not to mention the ripple effects of the people who fill the hotels and restaurants around the place,” Luther said. “And if these things go away, they stop too. So it’s not just us who organize the events; it really pushes the economy forward.

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