By Katheryn Houghton
Kaiser Health News 

How Escalating COVID Cases Forced Montana to Change Its Masking Strategy


November 11, 2020

In Montana’s conservative Flathead County, prosecutors and local leaders were turning a blind eye to businesses that flouted state mask and social distancing mandates, even as the area’s COVID infections climbed to their highest levels.

When asked during an Oct. 7 press call from Montana’s capital city whether the state would step in, Gov. Steve Bullock said it was up to the locals to enforce the directives.

“I’ve never met anyone in Flathead County, especially Flathead government, that has asked me to take over their government,” Bullock said with a laugh. “It can’t all be...

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