Changes in state COVID-19 rules may not impact Missoula Co.

Posted at 8:08 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 10:08:23-05

MISSOULA — Republican Greg Gianforte will be sworn in Monday as the 25th governor of Montana and soon after, he is expected to release an update on statewide COVID-19 guidelines -- such as the mask mandate.

But in Missoula, it might not matter as the Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) has already adopted current Governor Steve Bullock’s orders on the local level.

The decision means that the current mask mandate, business closing times and other restrictions will continue here until the Missoula Board of Health decides to change the ordinance.

So regardless of what Gianforte does, Missoula County Incident Commander Cindy Farr says Missoula won't be easing up restrictions until the new daily active case count slows down.

"Those guidelines for Missoula County will remain in place until we meet those benchmarks in order to be able to start removing some restrictions,” Farr explained.

Farr says recently there has been a decline in cases, but that could be because fewer people were getting tested over the holidays.

Farr also told MTN News that the MCCHD is expecting the cases to increase again in the coming weeks.