Havre, MT

HAVRE, Mont. - As Governor Greg Gianforte is working on rescinding most of Montana's COVID-19 related public health mandates, the Hill County Public Health Department says they won't add local mandates to replace them. 

Cases in Hill County are decreasing and the health department said they are seeing about 29 new cases per 100,000. Which is a significant decrease from October when they were seeing 196 cases per 100,000. 

With this decrease, they can't justify creating more mandates for residents.

"With our numbers, the way they’re looking right now we really don't have the backing for putting in further restrictions at this time. Of course, that's not to say it won't happen in the future. But right now, I think we're just going to back Governor Gianforte and his approach to the pandemic and work with that," Kimberly Larson, Hill County Public Health Director and Health Officer said. 

She also said with the decrease in cases, they are working on getting schools back to in-person learning. 

"So, recently, our Havre Public Schools is going back to four days a week now starting this week actually for K-5th grade. So, all of those students will be back in class. And then next week our middle and high school will go back as well," Larson said. 

With no new restrictions being put in place, Larson wants to remind everyone to continue to follow safety guidelines. 

"It feels kind of like there is a sigh of relief - like 'oh these restrictions are lifted, things must be better.' And things are improving, but the pandemic is still here. So, we still do need to social distance and if you're not social distancing you need to wear that face covering to protect yourself and others wash your hands, and of course, if you're not feeling well stay home and get that test," Larson said. 

Larson did say they are planning on rolling out Phase 1B with vaccinations for those 70 and older on Thursday, Jan. 21. They plan on vaccinating 350 people. 

For more information on when you can get your vaccine, you're encouraged to call 406-400-2369 to make an appointment. 

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