Montana governor issues mask mandate for 25 counties

Montana governor issues mask mandate for 25 counties
© Getty Images

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockRepublicans uncomfortably playing defense 300 green groups say Senate has 'moral duty' to reject Trump's public lands nominee Lincoln Project targets Senate races in Alaska, Maine, Montana with M ad buy MORE (D) has signed an executive order requiring all of the state's residents to wear masks while in public in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“Many Montanans answered the call to mask up – a call that came from our hospitals, nurses, and doctors, our vibrant small business community, our frontline workers, and our high-risk neighbors,” Bullock said in a statement. “I thank all of those who take seriously their personal responsibility and their role in stopping COVID-19. But we need even more Montanans, and the visitors who come here, to mask up.”

Per the new measure, Montana residents must wear masks while at indoor public spaces as well as at large outdoor gatherings. Counties that have three or fewer active COVID-19 cases are exempt from the mask requirement. At the moment, the order applies to 25 of Montana's 56 counties, according to NBC Montana.

ADVERTISEMENT

While the pandemic hasn't hit Montana as hard as some other states, the Treasure State reported a record 145 new cases on Wednesday, bringing its total number of cases during the pandemic to 2,096.

Montana is one of many states in recent days that have announced mask requirements, as the U.S. has been hamstrung by a resurgence of the virus over the past several weeks. 

The daily number of new cases is now higher than it was during the first peak of the virus in the country.

The U.S. reported 65,624 new cases of the virus Tuesday, according to data compiled by The New York Times.