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B-SB health board to deliberate mandatory mask order
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B-SB health board to deliberate mandatory mask order

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The Butte-Silver Bow Board of Health will discuss Wednesday, July 15, implementing a rule and health officer’s order requiring the use of masks or face coverings by people ages 12 and older in all public indoor settings to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, according to a press release issued by the county.

Butte-Silver Bow's last confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported Sunday, July 12 — a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 40s. The county has 25 total confirmed cases; 14 active cases; 11 recovered cases and no deaths.

Due to the virus and the board’s desire to not attract a congregate audience, the meeting will be held virtually, at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Board chairwoman Ivy Fredrickson said she will accept comments from the public at the beginning of the meeting. For those wishing to comment during this time, call 406-497-5009.

The board is also accepting public comment via email, at mandatorymask@bsb.mt.gov.

A mask rule and order in Butte-Silver Bow would make wearing masks or face coverings mandatory in all public indoor places, including businesses. Businesses would include, but are not limited to, retail stores, food and beverage establishments, public lodging, personal care providers, medical providers, pharmacies, gyms and fitness services, indoor recreational facilities, indoor entertainment facilities, gas stations, repair and service providers, non-profit organizations, realty services, legal services, transportation services, and ride-sharing services.

The rule and order would also pertain to indoor space open to the public, which is defined as an indoor space, whether publicly owned or privately owned, where the public has access by right or invitation, express or implied, whether by payment of money or not. This includes, but is not limited to, building lobbies or common spaces; elevators; bathrooms; and buildings, gathering spaces and/or meeting rooms outside of private homes where people gather.

The board likely will make a final decision on the matter at a meeting next week. That meeting has not yet been scheduled.

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