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The increase in positive novel coronavirus cases in Lincoln County and current delays in testing results have limited proper contact tracing and tracking, limiting Lincoln County Health Officer Dr. Brad Black’s ability to develop and analyze metrics for restrictions.

“With concerns of rising cases and non-ideal metrics, we will be watching test results on symptomatic individuals and looking at percent positives over the next two weeks,” Dr. Black said. "If an increase in positive cases is still being observed, then it will suggest that masking and social distancing are not being utilized to an adequate level to slow community spread. This could change restrictions and events will need to be evaluated again.”

Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued the directive for face coverings on July 15, saying proper face covering use and continuing proper social distancing and hygiene practices, should result in decreased positive cases of COVID-19.

“We must continue to encourage each other to take responsibility in controlling spread so our community can at the very least, protect our large number of high-risk citizens and allow our young people to attend school and protect our teachers,” Dr. Black said. “It takes everyone’s commitment to be successful in reducing risk from widespread coronavirus.”

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