MISSOULA — Leaders presented a new metric that they will now use to know when they can lift restrictions during a Thursday health board meeting.
Missoula County health officials have additional factors to consider when looking at restrictions with vaccines rolling in from state and federal shipments.
Before, the only focus was on how many cases the county had, but now, has shifted to look at how many individuals have been vaccinated.
By last Monday, 444 people per 1,000 individuals had received one dose of a vaccine. The goal is to reach 600 people per 1,000 individuals.
Believe it or not, when looking at this metric Missoula County is already 74% of the way there.
What happens when that goal is reached? Events and gatherings will be the first to experience lifted restrictions.
Masks will still be required at the events, but most everything else -- capacity, submitting a formal plan, thorough sanitation -- will simply be recommendations.
We’re not out of the woods yet, but Health Officer Ellen Leahy says Missoula County is leading the way for the rest of the state.
"What people did worked. If we can hang onto it for another six weeks to two months, we are really, really gonna pull out, so that’s really good," said Leahy.
Leahy will be evaluating our new vaccination metric every Tuesday.