BILLINGS — At the Billings Public Schools Board Meeting on Monday night, health officials and the superintendent gave an update on the COVID-19 situation in the district.

"When will School District Two consider not masking? There are several elements to it, especially the impacts to the schools themselves," SD2 Superintendent Greg Upham said.

Superintendent Upham says he would like to see COVID-19 cases get down to 10 per 100,000 people per day in the county.

"Four hundred fifty to 500 cases a month I think is where our baseline is," John Felton, with RiverStone Health, said.

Yellowstone County is not even close to that case rate currently, and cases are exceeding the case rate from last November.

"Not by a huge amount, but it's a couple cases per hundred thousand higher than we saw back in November," Felton said.

The concerns in the district center around elementary school kids. The big question, when can they be fully vaccinated?

"One of the concerns that I have would be a low percentage of five to 11-year -olds actually completing the vaccination," Upham said.

But there is some good news: COVID cases in younger people are on a downward trend.

"We reached a point, at our peak, where a quarter of our cases were kids who are 19 years old. We've now seen a four week decline in that," Felton said.

But if cases don't go down substantially, masks in schools will stick around for a while.

However, once they become available, Riverstone Health is open to bringing the vaccines to students in the future.

"As time goes by we'd like to have some conversations with the school district about doing some vaccination clinics in the schools," Felton said.

The latest data on the School District Two website shows that during the first full week of October, there were 81 active COVID-19 cases in students, and 20 cases among school staff.