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Missoula County officials rescind mask mandate

Face coverings are still recommended
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Posted at 12:19 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 19:49:22-04

MISSOULA — Due to Missoula County's COVID-19 vaccination progress and case count, the county's mask mandate has been rescinded.

In a statement Monday, health officer Ellen Leahy announced Missoula County met its intermediate vaccination goal of 60% of eligible residents having received at least one dose. In April, the county health board directed Leahy to rescind the mandate and issue recommendations upon meeting that goal.

Missoula County's new case rate has also not trended above 25 new cases daily per 100,000 people on a rolling 7-day average, according to a press release.

Due to these metrics, effective immediately, the mask mandate has been rescinded.

The press release also stated that Gov. Greg Gianforte's signing of House Bill 257 occurred simultaneous to Missoula County meeting its goals and rescinding the mask rule as planned by the Health Board.

Recommendations for face coverings are still in place for the following situations:

  1. Among children ages 2-15 when in groups or congregate settings such as day camps, daycare, classrooms and at social events
  2. Ages 2 and up at events, gatherings, and places where groups of vaccinated and non-vaccinated people may mix
  3. At indoor group events such as worship services, ceremonies, parties, receptions, business meetings and conferences
  4. At large outdoor events such as concerts, dances, markets, and festivals
  5. lnside health care facilities, businesses, agencies, classrooms, and government offices where the public is present.

In a statement, health officer Ellen Leahy writes, "Missoula County leads the state for vaccination progress. The Board and Health Officer commend its many vaccinating partners and citizens' cooperation with masks and the progress with vaccinations that have brought Missoula to this place of low COVID transmission and high vaccination rates."

Click here to read the full declaration.

Statistics show that as of May 10, 52,247 of the 99,813 eligible Missoula County residents are fully immunized and 108,810 total doses have been administered. The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) notes more than 22,000 people need to get fully vaccinated to reach community immunity. Residents may sign up online here or by calling 406-258-INFO between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

The latest information about COVID-19 in Missoula County, including the upcoming vaccination clinics, can be found here. There have been 9,063 cases confirmed in Missoula County including 8,898 recoveries and 93 COVID-19 related deaths.