Montana Governor Greg Gianforte rescinded the statewide mask mandate last week. That left local cities and businesses to do their own guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic as far as wearing masks. Missoula County has continued their public mask mandate, but Ravalli County officially is following the state rules of no mandate.

Even so, the Public Health officials are recommending that you continue wearing the masks. Yesterday, a statement was issued by Ravalli County Public Health Officer Dr. Carol Calderwood:

Hang tough and continue the good job you are doing, citizens of Ravalli County! Masking is still one very important tool for us all to protect each other, decrease spread to the most vulnerable, and to keep businesses and schools open.
Though I foresee continued improvement in testing, treatment, and percentage of community immunity, we are still not out of the woods. We still have moderate community spread, though the majority of cases diagnosed are within close contact groups. (Thanks to the tireless work of Public Health, contract tracers.)
For now, I strongly recommend continued masking in settings where people congregate with higher density, such as schools and businesses. Working together as a community, we can continue to move forward, minimizing impacts of the pandemic on health, economy, and society.

Ravalli County Public Health Director Tiffany Webber also recommended following the national CDC guidelines to wear a mask, maintain your distancing, wash your hands often and stay home if you are sick. She also noted that the luxury of choice comes with responsibility to each other and respect of individual space and the preferred practices of businesses.

Don't argue about the masks. If a business requires masks and you don't want to wear a mask, you don't have to shop there. Be respectful and be kind.

LOOK: 50 photos of American life in 2020