Open letter to Mayor Engen:
There are steps you can take to ensure our safety in the midst of this devastating pandemic. Enforcing a mask mandate inside and outside goes without saying, as does closing bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms and casinos.
It’s been said there’s no political will for such measures. The statistics indicate otherwise. On Sept. 9, there were 40 active COVID-19 cases in Missoula County. As of Nov. 9, there were 1,457.
The most egregious issue with the enforcement of COVID-19 orders in Missoula is that there is none. In one week, I witnessed violations at my doctor’s office, the DMV, the office building at a different doctor’s office, and my radiologist’s.
We desperately need more restrictions in Missoula, but they’ll be meaningless if there’s no enforcement. Please do more to enforce existing COVID-19 orders. Increase messaging to community members explaining why it’s important to wear a mask and how to wear one correctly. Remind people to stay at home. Make free COVID-19 testing widely available. Institute rigorous contact tracing and more orders to stop the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in our community.
This may hurt in the short run, but it will pay off exponentially in the long run.