Face Covering Directive

COVID-19 is still active in Gallatin County. For the health of our community, face coverings are now required in all indoor public spaces in Gallatin County. Get all the facts below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cloth face coverings can reduce the release of virus particles into the air when a person with COVID-19 speaks, coughs, or sneezes. You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a cloth face covering, even if you don’t think you have COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing, washing hands, and staying home when ill, but they may be helpful when combined with these actions.

Starting in April, the CDC, Governor Bullock, and the Gallatin City-County Board of Health recommended cloth face coverings to help control the spread of respiratory droplets and the virus. While some people voluntarily adopted face coverings, many did not. These new mandates recognize the importance of cloth face coverings as a key strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19, especially as we continue to reopen our economy and return to public life.

The Governor’s Order went into effect on July 15, 2020. It remains in effect for the duration of the declared state of emergency.

All people over the age of 5 years old in Gallatin County must wear a face covering in indoor spaces.

Exceptions include:

  • Children under the age of 5.*
  • While seated eating or drinking.
  • While engaging in strenuous physical exercise.
  • People with medical conditions that would be worsened by wearing a face covering.

*All children between the ages of two and four are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Children under the age of 2 should not wear a face covering. 
Children under 12 who wear face coverings should be monitored. If the mask is causing discomfort or resulting in the child touching their face frequently, reconsider whether a face covering is appropriate for that child.

NO! 911 should be reserved for emergency or criminal situations that need immediate attention. The COVID-19 Call Center is the proper place to report violations by businesses and/or large groups of people.

(406) 548-0123
non-English speaking options available

You may also use the COVID-19 Gallatin County Resident Feedback Portal to report an infraction.

Local law enforcement agencies generally have primary enforcement jurisdiction. The Rule is not intended to penalize people. It’s intended to encourage each of us to wear a face covering, protect one another, and help keep Montana and Gallatin County on the path to reopening. We hope that most people will wear face coverings to protect the health of their friends, strangers, and loved ones. However, not following the Rule may result in a misdemeanor. On conviction, the person shall be fined not less than $10 or more than $200.

Individuals have the ability to claim a medical exemption and businesses can rely on that exemption in good faith and allow entry. Equally, business owners have the right over their business and property to decide when someone should be allowed entry or provided an accommodation, in agreement with the law. The health department continues to encourage business owners to identify alternatives like curb-side pick-up and over the phone-transaction for those individuals who claim a medical exemption in these scenarios.

The Governor’s rule defines face covering as a fabric, paper, or disposable face covering that covers the nose and mouth and which does not have an exhalation valve. The term “face covering” includes face shields.

A face covering may be factory-made or handmade from ordinary household materials. It should fit snugly but comfortably, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.

Replace face coverings when they become dirty, wet, and/or difficult to breathe through.

No, and you are not required to have a medical note to prove that condition. Please do not contact your healthcare provider to obtain documentation.  Do talk to them about your concerns or to seek medical care if you are sick.

For the vast majority of the general public, there are no health risks when wearing a face covering. Those who are younger than the age of 2, those with certain medical conditions, and those who are not able to remove the face covering on their own, should not wear one.

The prolonged use of face coverings can be uncomfortable. However, it does not lead to CO2 intoxication or oxygen deficiency.

Face coverings are required inside most indoor public settings. Face coverings should also be worn in outdoor group settings, where social distancing is not feasible or cannot be maintained.

More Resources:


governor face covering directive
COVID-19 printable resources
governor's phased reopening covid-19
reopening guidelines for businesses and schools
governors directive for reopening