The Lincoln County Board of Health is working to release a public order for COVID-19 preventative measures as the county is seeing 34 active cases.
An emergency public meeting was held on Monday evening asking for input on the order as they hammer out the details.
The order proposes a handful of restrictions including face coverings for individuals over five years old in indoor public places and outdoor activities where social distancing isn’t feasible. Local officials are also proposing approval be required for events of more than 50 people.
Members of the public and board members alike had questions about verbiage of the order, and how it differs from Gov. Steve Bullock's statewide orders.
With events like the rodeo and the quilt show coming up, local health officials are under pressure to make a decision on the local order as soon as possible. Ultimately, Lincon County Health Officer Brad Black says mandating masks is necessary.
"It’s not fun and none of us like it," Black said. "But you know what? It’s the only thing we got, and we don't have any metrics to use to know where the virus activity is. We are hampered by inadequate screening capacity and turnaround. We cannot rely on much of anything else. Wearing a mask will keep us away from further restrictive social restriction which is something we try to avoid."
The public order is currently on hold while health officials discuss public concerns that were brought up during Monday's meeting. Another public meeting is set for next Wednesday.