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Big Horn County mask mandate to remain in place

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 13:40:38-05

HARDIN — The Big Horn County Board of Commissioners on Friday announced the current Public Health Order 2021-1, passed during its meeting Jan. 15, 2021, will remain in effect. The order includes a mask mandate, which requires individuals to wear a mask when outside the confines of their homes, particularly when shopping or participating in some other indoor activity.

“The Big Horn County Commissioners believe that the increase in people wearing masks has helped lower the number of new cases of the virus in the county,” Larry Vandersloot, Chairman of the Big Horn County Board of Commissioners and Public Health Board, said in a press release.

“Just this week, the CDC recommended that Americans double mask to protect against the new strains of the coronavirus starting to appear across the country. We believe that continued encouragement to wear masks is in the best interests of our community’s health.”

To view the full order, visit the Big Horn County website here.

“The benefits of mask-wearing during this pandemic have been widely studied by the scientific community and shown to be one of the best ways to prevent spread of disease,” said Dr. Carol Greimann, the county public health officer.

“We are not only seeing a slowing of new COVID-19 cases in Big Horn County, we have also seen a precipitous drop in influenza this flu season. While we still have several months before we reach vaccination levels that will allow us to return to a more normal way of life, we are asking residents and visitors to our County to wear a mask, especially for our elders who have been so devastated by COVID-19.”

The action comes on the same day Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte issued two new directives and an executive order to update policies and guidance regarding COVID. The new directive allows the statewide mask mandate to expire and notes that local jurisdictions may still choose to implement their own mask requirements.