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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Butte schools drop mask requirements

School hallway
stacey_newman/Getty Images/iStockphoto
School hallway

Face masks are no longer required at Butte public schools. This comes after board members of the Butte School District voted unanimously on Tuesday night to make face coverings optional. The ruling means face masks are now optional for students, staff and visitors.

A separate requirement for masks to be worn on school buses remains in place due to federal regulations.

Face masks are still required at Anaconda public schools. The school board is slated to discuss the district’s mask policies at next week’s board meeting.

Over the past two weeks the number of active COVID-19 cases in Montana has fallen roughly 70 percent. Hospitalizations during that time have been nearly cut in half. According to state data, public school districts have reported 271 cases over the past two weeks.

MTPR's Aaron Bolton contributed to this reporting.

Kristine de Leon covers Butte and Southwest Montana for MTPR. Before barging onto the radio, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Butte and eastern Oregon. She’s also had stints working as a digital producer for a TV news station and moonlighting as a coder/web developer.