(KHN.org) Incoming Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signaled he won’t continue a statewide mask mandate in place since July, though he said he plans to wear a mask himself and get vaccinated against COVID-19.
If Gianforte, a Republican, reverses outgoing Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s mask order, Montana will be just the second state after Mississippi to lift its mandate. Thirty-eight states now have statewide mandates.
“I trust Montanans with their health and the health of their loved ones,” Gianforte said in a recent interview with KHN. “The state has a role in clearly communicating the risks of who is most vulnerable, what the potential consequences are, but then I do trust Montanans to make the right decisions for themselves and their family.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says masks help prevent transmission of COVID-19. At least one study has found that states with mask requirements have had slower COVID growth rates compared with those without mandates.