We understand there is much uncertainty with what appears, at times, to be contradictory information. The COVID-19 virus is a new virus so worldwide scientists are discovering new information daily and as this happens information is updated. One particular area of information updating is the use of masks.
As with numerous other viruses including the Flu Pandemic of 1918, using masks and face coverings by the population have been an integral part of slowing the spread of a virus and have proven to be beneficial with achieving this goal.
We concur with the CDC that indoor use of face coverings and barriers are beneficial in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Indoor use of “face coverings” includes fabric, paper, or disposable face coverings that covers the nose and mouth and which does not have an exhalation valve. Face shields as well as the plexi-glass barriers utilized by some businesses are also acceptable “face coverings” or barriers.
We share the concern of everyone about the devastating effect this pandemic has had on local schools and businesses and believe the quickest path to economic recovery lies in protecting schools, business owners and employees from the virus. We respectfully encourage everyone to wear a face covering and cooperate with the businesses to achieve the quickest path to economic recovery. We do not believe that civil or criminal penalties are necessary at this time.
We know the people of Ravalli County hold true to Montana values, are fiercely independent and possess a desire to improve quality of life. In light of this, we ask the help of all Ravalli County residents to help preserve these values of life, equality and opportunity by respecting your family, friends and neighbors to help slow the spread of this virus by utilizing an appropriate face covering according to current recommendations.
Ravalli County Board of Health Members:
Dr. Michael Turner, Dr. Wayne Chilcote, Katherine Scholl and Roger DeHaan
Ravalli County Interim Health Officer: Tiffany Weber
Ravalli County Public Health Director: Dr. Carol Calderwood