HELENA — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said Tuesday during his first news conference since being sworn into office that he does plan to repeal the statewide mask mandate, but the change will not happen immediately.
“I choose to wear a mask and encourage others to do the same,” Gianforte said.
The governor said that he wants to see additional COVID-19 vaccinations and is looking to move away from directives to incentives.
Vaccination plans for Montana are being revised by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services and will take effect immediately.
Under Gianforte’s plan, the vaccine distribution plan is to be expanded to cover all Montanans who are 70 years of age or older.
Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines will be provided to residents between the ages of 16 and 69 who have specific underlying health conditions.
Gianforte says that Montana has received 36,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines and additional 41,000 first doses are expected.
The governor also noted that 23,000 Montanans have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday.