After Public Outrage, Dawson County Health Board Rescinds Draconian Mask Rule


The Dawson County Health Board, in response to the public outrage about their mask rule as covered previously in the Montana Daily Gazette, has rescinded their previous decision to exceed Governor Bullock’s mask directives. They also appear to have rolled back suggestions to arrest and fine violators or place the impetus for enforcement upon local businesses.

Dawson County health board members include Jill Domek, Stephen Schreibeis, Justin Cross, Brett Irigoin, Cindy Heidt, Jerry Jimison, Dennis Zander, and Joseph Leal (who is the only physician on the board). The unelected board not only surpassed the orders of Governor Bullock, but also went well beyond the orders in place with some of the most heavily-impacted major metropolitan areas in the United States.

Thankfully, the residents of Dawson County spoke up and expressed their unwillingness to follow such insanely over-reaching plans and the board reluctantly listened.

The Facebook page for the Dawson County Health Department (which is distinct from the Dawson County Health Board, although it has overlapping interests and members) placed the notice on their Facebook page yesterday (see below).

It reads, “After input from the public, it was decided to rescind the previous order requiring masks for 3 weeks after Dawson County has zero cases.”

The board still pledged allegiance to the Democratic governor’s mask derictives, which for him has been a major campaign talking-point. Their statement reads, “However, the Governor’s mandate remains in effect. This requires use in all public places in counties that have 4 or more active cases of COVID. Currently, there are 6 active cases in Dawson County.”

Various Facebook groups enthusaistically reported the about-face after their public hearing.

It is presumed that the board also rolled back their spitballing suggestions to imprison or fine violators, as originally suggested by County Attorney, Brett Irigoin. However, this is unknown for sure as the minutes of the meeting have not yet been added to the Dawson County Health Board website (as is required by law). It is presumed they will be added for the public’s viewing in coming days.

Not everyone was happy. One Dawson County resident, originally from Missoula whose Facebook page is filled with Joe Biden endorsements and rainbow-colored avatars, said, “This is all thanks to that stupid fake news paper. Now, people are probably going to get COVID-19 every time they go to the gas station.”

They then added Governor Bullock’s hashtag, “#MaskUpMontana.”


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