UPDATE 04/17/2020: Lewis and Clark County says it has exhausted its initial supply of cloth masks available to the public.
According to the county, Lewis and Clark Public Health is getting inundated with calls regarding the masks.
People needing a mask are asked to fill out a form online, or if they can't online, call the Emergency Operations Center at 406-447-1605 and leave a voice mail.
The county is accepting donations of more masks to provide to the community in the future.
FIRST REPORT: The Lewis and Clark County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) announced Thursday that they are accepting requests for cloth masks from individuals and essential businesses in need.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the general public wear cloth face coverings – not surgical masks or N-95 respirators – in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (like grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, clinics, etc.).
The Lewis and Clark Public Health Department encourages all residents to follow the recommendations provided by the CDC.
The CDC does warn that face coverings should not give anyone a false sense of security. Social distancing and hand washing are still very important protective measures and should be continued.
The EOC now has a stock of about 500 masks with more donations coming in.
Every effort will be made to fill all requests, but they will be prioritized based on most at-risk populations and those with highest potential exposures.
People wishing to donate hand-sewn cloth masks should go here for details.