Since taking office in early January, Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT) has lifted COVID restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other small businesses. He's also done away with a statewide mask directive.

Despite the lifting of those restrictions, case numbers continue to decline in Montana and the region. In fact, the New York Times is profiling Montana and the Dakotas for the declining numbers.

By some measures, the three-state hot spot’s trajectory has mirrored the nation’s. After the daily U.S. average for new cases peaked on Jan. 9, it took 37 days — until last Monday — for the rate to drop by two-thirds. It took South Dakota and Montana 35 days to reach the same mark after cases peaked in those two states in November.

Here's what is interesting to those of us in Montana and the Dakotas, although it wasn't emphasized by the Times: Montana and the Dakotas saw a similar rise, and a similar fall in cases, despite the different approach taken in Montana compared to, say, South Dakota.

Even though Missoula County's "Incident Commander" balked at Gov. Gianforte for lifting the statewide mask directive, and claimed back on February 11th that cases were on the rise- Missoula County has now lifted some of their business restrictions due to the decline in cases.

Gallatin County is also seeing a continued decline in cases, according to The Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

The numbers are a good sign, county health officer Matt Kelley said Friday, especially considering that a weekly case rate under 25 per 100,000 people is considered by many public health experts a threshold of whether there is uncontrolled spread.




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