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Letters: Time for action on COVID-19, not hand wringing

In just the past week, Montana has jumped from 1000 cases to over 2000. On June 30th we were tracing and isolating contacts for 100% of new cases in less than 48 hours, now we’re tracking down and isolating contacts in a timely fashion only 33% of the time.

According to CovidActNow.org, we are one of 10 states with an “active or imminent outbreak.” Montana has some natural advantages: low population density, no big cities, a sensible governor. We’re not Arizona or Texas — not yet. But we do need action from officials, not just expressions of grief and sympathy.

What can we do? Impose a mandatory state-wide face mask rule for inside public spaces, and exclude guests from hot-spots like Arizona, Texas, and Florida, as many other states are doing. Close bars for a while, as this is a really bad time for bars, according to Dr Anthony Fauci.

Needless to say, with numbers exploding instead of declining, and as national guidelines require, we can’t re-open schools or colleges. An urgent program to hire and train more health workers to trace close contacts would help. Let’s get serious, Montana.