Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) lifted a statewide mask mandate on Friday that had been put in place by former Gov. Steve Bullock (D) last July amid the coronavirus pandemic; however, some counties will keep local mask requirements, as reported on Breitbart News.
The day after he took office, Gianforte said he would lift the mask mandate when enough vaccinations had been administered and businesses and healthcare providers received liability protections. Gianforte announced earlier this week that both requirements had been met, creating his path to lift the statewide mask mandate.
Montana has become the third state to lift its mask mandate and social distancing measures. Statewide Covid-19 cases have been trending downward.
The first state to lift its mask mandate was North Dakota when Governor Doug Burgum (R) let the state’s mask mandate expire January 18th after the state was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic in the fall and early winter.
Iowa came next on February 10th when Governor Kim Reynolds (R) stated that Iowa’s hospitalizations for Covid-19 had dropped 80% since November.
On Wednesday, Gov. Gianforte said, “When it comes down to it, I trust Montanans, and together we can combat this public health and economic pandemic with personal responsibility by looking out for one another.”
The announcement that the mandate would be lifted came during the signing of Senate Bill 65, which was sponsored by Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick (R-Great Falls) and intends to protect businesses, nonprofits, churches, and healthcare providers from most lawsuits over people catching the virus on their property.
Those who will keep local mask rules include Lewis and Clark County, Gallatin County, Butte County, Missoula County, and the city of Whitefish.
“If you’re taking reasonable and responsible precautions to protect your employees, your members, your customers from COVID-19, you shouldn’t have to worry about unnecessary litigation,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “At the same time, this bill doesn’t give anyone a free pass and it makes clear that Montanans are protected from bad actors.”
While the mask mandate has been lifted for the state, Gianforte said he will continue to wear a mask and urged residents in the state to continue doing so, as well.
According to recent data, Montana has had a total of 96,938 coronavirus cases and 1,322 deaths as a result of the virus.
What say you Def-Con News readers? This seems to be smart, responsible leadership. The Governor encouraged caution, made suggestions for those who don’t yet feel safe, and ended the state-wide mandates, leaving the ultimate decision up to each county. This is another Republican-led state moving forward for the betterment of business and people’s livelihood while also striving to minimize future Covid-19 problems. (Click to Source)