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Missoula County officials working to implement mask requirement

Missoula City County Health Department
Posted at 10:00 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 17:51:13-04

MISSOULA — County commissioners and Missoula's mayor wrote a letter to the health department on Wednesday asking for a mask requirement.

On Thursday, officials said the health department is working as fast as it can to get the requirement approved.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Missoula County, the Missoula City-County Health Department says it is trying to schedule a meeting to discuss a mask requirement for businesses. The requirement would include businesses licensed by the health department or the city of Missoula.

"No one has written me a letter saying don't do this, and a huge number of people have written saying please do this," Missoula County Commissioner Josh Slotnick said.

In a meeting Thursday morning, Slotnick said he wants to show support for the requirement, and for Health Officer Ellen Leahy.

"This could be potentially controversial," he said. "And I think it's really important that we let her know we support her in this. That she is not in this alone."

Officials say Leahy is trying to schedule a meeting with the health board to approve the requirement.

"If people are wondering why not have this health board tomorrow, there are noticing requirements that have to be met and schedules, etc., so as far as I know it's being done as soon as it can," Slotnick said.

Officials say they will announce when the board meeting is scheduled, and when a requirement would take place, but as of Thursday afternoon there is no set timeline.

The county commissioners also said they would be willing to help if the health department needs extra resources to enforce the mask order.