BUTTE, Mont. - Officials in Butte-Silver Bow County are removing COVID-19 restrictions, including a local mask mandate.
At a press conference Tuesday, Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher, and Health Officer Karen Sullivan said the county has seen success in keeping COVID-19 infections low, and distributing vaccines.
Effective Wednesday, March 24 at 8:00 a.m., restrictions regarding occupancy caps for businesses will be lifted and all businesses can move back to normal operating hours.
Additionally, the local mandate requiring face coverings will be rescinded. Businesses can still choose their own rules with regards to masks.
"Today we celebrate the efforts of our citizens, and our businesses that were on the front line of adhering to the restrictions," Gallagher said. "...We have earned our reopening."
Through the course of the pandemic 82 Butte-Silver Bow residents have died from COVID-19.
Right now, Gallagher said the county is focused on keeping infection rates lows and will continue to vaccinate as many residents as possible. So far, more than 18,500 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Butte-Silver Bow County.
The vaccine clinic scheduled for Wednesday in Butte, is now open for anyone 16 years of age or older. Appointments can be made online or by calling 406-497-6401.
A vaccine campaign to encourage people to sign up for appointments is in the works as well, according to Gallagher.
The local health department will still continue to monitor large gatherings like weddings and other events.
If health officials see an uptick in COVID-19 infections, restrictions can be put back in place.
After canceling a year's worth of popular events in the community, the county is anticipating a 4th of July parade will be allowed to take place.