Enforcing the state-wide mask directive in Yellowstone County

We are two weeks into the directive issued by Governor Steve Bullock, requiring all Montanans in counties with four or more active COVID-19 cases to mask-up in public, but some Montanans aren't abiding by that directive.

BILLINGS, Mont. -- We are two weeks into the directive issued by Governor Steve Bullock, requiring all Montanans in counties with four or more active COVID-19 cases to mask-up in public, but some Montanans aren't abiding by that directive.

Yellowstone County Health Officer, John Felton, says about one out of every five complaints RiverStone Health receives on their public health line is related to people not wearing masks.  He says the number of those complaints vary from day to day.

Felton says RiverStone Health would rather educate people on the importance of wearing a mask, but he says those who blatantly disregard the Governor's directive could face criminal charges issued by the county attorney.

"People need to really just make a simple decision to protect their community, protect their family members," Felton says, "Nobody I think really loves to wear a mask, but we really don't like to see people get sick and die.  We reported a death almost every day for the last two weeks, and I think that should be enough to make people realize that they should take this simple step in protecting those around them."

Felton says the statewide mask mandate has helped, but he says we still need more people to wear masks in public in order to get the maximum benefit out of it.

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