MISSOULA — Local health officials are urging the public to mask up as high transmission rates of COVID-19 continue in Missoula County.
"I think we're not seeing enough people masking in public to prevent getting a surge," said COVID-19 Lead Public Information Officer Hayley Devlin.
Devlin urges people to keep fighting against COVID-19, especially as the highly contagious omicron variant continues to spread.
"We need a lot more citizens to choose to do the right thing so we can help protect our hospital capacity and our other COVID resources," Devlin said.
"It would be really nice if a lot more people would wear masks, and if they would wear masks that are a lot more effective against omicron," she continued.
Experts say N95, or KN95 masks offer the most effective protection against omicron.
"If you don't have access to those your next best bet is to wear a surgical mask and a cloth mask over it."
Health Officer D'Shane Barnett noted Thursday that not enough people are wearing masks.
“We can’t mandate masks. We need more people to choose do to the right thing.”
MCCHD data shows Missoula County saw 148 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday with the number of active cases rising to 763.