Far more quietly than its implementation, the Missoula County health officer on Monday rescinded the year-old mask mandate, citing Missoula’s diminishing case rate and growing number of vaccinations.
City-County Health Officer Ellen Leahy said the county had met its intermediate vaccination goal of 60% of eligible residents having received at least one dose.
In April, the county health board directed Leahy to rescind the mandate and issue recommendations upon meeting that goal.
“Missoula County leads the state for vaccination progress,” Leahy said in a statement. “The board and health officer commend its many vaccinating partners and citizens’ cooperation with masks and the progress with vaccinations that have brought Missoula to this place of low COVID transmission and high vaccination rates.”
According to Leahy, Missoula County’s new case rate has not trended above 25 new cases daily per 100,000 people over a 7-day average.
The health department is still recommending masks at large indoor events and large outdoor events such as concerts, markets and festivals. Masks are also recommended inside health care facilities, businesses and classrooms.
Missoula County was the second county in the state to implement a mask mandate last July. It’s been in place ever since.