Due to the increase of COVID cases in Big Horn County, the Big Horn County Local Health Officer is mandating that all people in Big Horn County must wear face coverings (masks) when outside their homes.
The Big Horn County Commissioners, the Big Horn County Health Board, and the Crow Tribe of Indians are standing in solidarity to promote universal wearing of masks by everyone in Big Horn County, when in public and at risk of coming within six (6) feet of another person.
After seeing positive outcomes from other states with masks mandates, Big Horn County Public Information Officer Rhonda Johnson says she felt this could possibly help to slow the spread in the county.
The Board of County Commissioners and Public Health Chairman George Real Bird III says he understands the requirement of masks may be controversial but it's the only proven measure that can stop the spread of the virus to the vulnerable population.
According to Johnson many of the positive cases in Big Horn County are coming from people under the age of 35.
"It's really become clear that this isn't just a virus that attacks our elders or people of preexisting conditions. It attacks everyone and we need everyone to take it seriously and wearing a mask is one way to do that. It's a fairly simple matter of putting it on when you go into the grocery store and taking it off when you get home," says Johnson.
If residents are seen in public without a mask they could risk a misdemeanor charge. Johnson says they are hoping to avoid enforcing punishments by asking the community to band together to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
We also made a call to the Yellowstone County Health Office to see if they're considering mandatory mask use. They say at this time there is no changes to what County Health Officer John Felton has already ordered which is masks use is highly recommended when you are unable to properly social distance.
A copy of the full health order can be found below.