COVID-19 is still active in Gallatin County. Face coverings are dependent on our current Community Level. People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 SHOULD WEAR A MASK.
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. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. 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.
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 curbside pick-up and over-the-phone transactions for people who claim a medical exemption in these scenarios.
Businesses may ask how to accommodate an individual’s disabilities. Options may include:
Having face shields on hand to provide to disabled customers
Offering curbside pick-up
Offering services via phone or online
If accommodations cannot be made and individuals are unable to comply with requirements necessary for safe operation, individuals may be asked to leave the business. The ADA governs accommodations of this sort, but does not preclude asking customers about health information. HIPAA and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments are also inapplicable to conversations related to face-coverings in businesses.
Please use 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.
BE SURE TO WASH OR REPLACE FACE MASKS DAILY OR AFTER REPEATED USE.
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 recommended for inside most indoor public settings when Community Levels are Medium or High. Face coverings should also be worn in outdoor group settings where social distancing is not feasible or cannot be maintained.