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Hill County looks at mask mandate


Last updated 2/15/2021 at 1:20pm

Hill County Public Health Director and Health Officer Kim Larson announced Friday that the Hill County Board of Health will hold a special meeting this week to consider implementing a countywide mask mandate in the wake of Gov. Gianforte's rescinding the statewide mask mandate that day.

The special meeting, announced during the Board of Health's biweekly COVID-19 update, will be held at the Health Department Annex Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

In an email after the meeting Hill County Commissioner Mark Peterson said a three-minute limit will be in place for people looking to comment in-person.

He said people can use GoToMeeting to attendee remotely via https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/509889949, or by phone at 1-866-899-4679 or at 1-571-317-3116, access code 509-889-949.

Larson said Friday during the meeting that masks are demonstrably effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and Hill County residents should wear them regardless of what mandates are in place.

"We know they are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19," she said.

Peterson echoed the sentiment and asked the people of Hill County to keep taking safety measures seriously.

"We've made tremendous headway in getting our numbers down," he said. "... Please, wear a mask, sanitize, wash your hands and social distance."

Larson also provided an update on COVID-19 in Hill County and said the health department, as of 10 a.m. that day, was following 122 people in quarantine and had distributed 2869 doses of vaccine, fully vaccinating just over 500 people.

She said the wait list for vaccines is at about 250 people, which has remained steady for some time.

She said the county recently received additional doses of vaccine from the state which found unused vaccine resulting from an overestimation of the number of long-term care facility staff and residents in the state.

Larson said the state's schedule indicates that Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout will be over in mid-March but she doesn't know when Hill County specifically will be able to start Phase 1C.

The next Board of Health COVID-19 update will be Friday, Feb. 26, at 1 p.m.


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