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There was a new sign posted in the elevator at work this morning that laid out the rules for "elevator etiquette." All the suggestions are basic good hygiene practices regarding minimizing germ spread. About two weeks ago, all the hotel employees here in our building began wearing masks at work, from the front desk people to the maintenance crew. When I asked them about it, they said it was a new company requirement.

While running errands yesterday I noticed that many of the places around Billings that I entered had employees wearing masks. Most restaurant workers appear to be wearing masks as well as many of the local bank employees. Winco announced last week that it is now requiring its team members to wear masks and of course, Costco has had their mask policy in place for months now.

It seems Montana had been relatively lucky with our COVID numbers, up until the last few days. Yellowstone County became the new hot-spot for positive cases in Montana with 330 cases, edging out Gallatin County for the most reported cases, according to the States official COVID-19 website. Montana officially broke the 1,000 positive cases mark last week and my hunch is that nearly all retailers will be requiring masks soon, regardless of whether the State or County makes it mandatory or not.

As reported by CBS News yesterday, the Retailer Industry Leaders Association (a trade group which represents Home Depot, Target and other national chains) is urging all state governors to make masks in public mandatory, adding that with only half of the states requiring a mask it's leading to confusion among their retail locations about the rules and even causing confrontations between employees and shoppers. Is your workplace requiring you and/or customers wear a mask?