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Bozeman residents weigh in on possible mask mandate before special meeting

Posted at 11:02 AM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-12 11:19:43-04

The Gallatin City-County Health Department made an announcement it will hold a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss requiring face coverings—in indoor settings—in the county to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

“What we’re really trying to do is find ways to reduce transmission of the disease without shutting down businesses, without moving back in our reopening. We have a really large number of cases right now. We have more cases right now than we’ve ever had,” explained Gallatin City-County Health Officer Matt Kelley.

People can expect a discussion and possibly a decision.

“What they can expect is a public hearing, to hear public comment about the emergency rule, proposed emergency rule, and then there will be board discussions. The Board of Health will discuss. We’ll also have some experts there to provide some testimony, and then the board will be within its rights to take action at that meeting and vote either to approve the rule or not to approve the rule and also they can vote to continue until a later date,” Kelley said.

MTN talked with some Bozeman residents on Main Street downtown and got mixed reactions on a possible mask mandate.

“I definitely think people should. There’s really germs in a lot more places than people think about and knowing even a little bit about this, it makes a lot of sense that you should be covering up,” said Grayam Sailor-Tynes.

“I don’t feel the need to at all,” said Maybel Parks.

“I personally don’t think it's too necessary. I think a lot of things in mainstream media are making it a lot worse than what it is. If we look at the numbers the people that are at risk are mostly in nursing homes,” said Jason Shurka.

“I’m wearing a face mask because I could be asymptomatic and I think it’s not really a big ask to wear face masks to keep people safe,” said Michaela Kline.

The CDC recommends wearing a face covering to help stop the spread of the virus.

MTN News will be reporting live from Tuesday's special meeting to consider two new emergency rules.