Montana mask directive amended to include K-12 schools
Bullock orders schools in counties with four or more active COVID-19 cases to require masks
Last updated 8/12/2020 at 3:35pm
By Patrick Johnston
At a press conference this afternoon, Gov. Steve Bullock announced that he is amending the directive he issued July 15 that requires people in counties with four or more active cases of COVID-19 to wear face masks in certain indoor and outdoor environments to include public and private K-12 schools in preparation for the upcoming re-opening of many such institutions this fall.
Bullock said this decision is based on the advice he's received from health experts and organizations in Montana and beyond.
"We have to follow the guidance not just in Montana but at the federal level," he said. "Every week I've been on a call with the vice-president, the coronavirus task force, and every week over the last seven or eight weeks they talked about how you safely stay open, how you re-open schools, and consistently, time and time again, they say masks have to be part of that equation."
He said the amendment would apply to indoor spaces as well as organized outdoor activities.
Bullock said everyone has the same end goal of protecting their children as schools open back up and there are many differing viewpoints on how to do that.
However, he said, he believes highly recommending that people wear face masks is not enough.
"For those that strongly encourage the wearing of face coverings or masks, I do fear that that won't be enough to keep those teachers and students safe," he said. "Every other public and government building requires face coverings and there's no principled reason why the same shouldn't be the case in our schools."
Watch for more in Thursday's edition of The Havre Daily News.