Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has announced that confronting the COVID-19 virus is his "top priority as governor", and laid out his administrations approach to vaccinations, and how the mask mandate will eventually be rescinded.

According to a press release from the Governor's office, Gianforte indicated that his priority, when it comes to distribution of vaccinations, will be "protecting the most vulnerable, promoting incentives and personal responsibility over mandates, and making directives clear and easier to understand."

Governor Gianforte's revision of the COVID-19 vaccination plan will put Montana residents who are 70 and older, 16-69 year-olds with "an underlying severe medical condition," and Native Americans next in line, after healthcare workers.

We need to provide the vaccine to those that want it. We cannot have vaccines sitting on a shelf. That’s why I have tasked DPHHS and General Quinn to begin the process of revising the vaccine distribution plan to prioritize the most vulnerable. -Governor Greg Gianforte

Governor Gianforte stated that he has directed his administration to "make this change effective immediately," according to the press release.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Also announced during the Governor's press conference was his plan to rescind the statewide mask mandate, that he says will include two conditions. "After we have increased vaccine distribution and after I have legislation on my desk that protects businesses, schools, places of worship, and nonprofit organizations that follow guidelines from lawsuits, then we will rescind the current statewide mask mandate," said Governor Gianforte.

The need to protect businesses and schools from lawsuits was also highlighted in the press release, with Governor Gianforte saying that he believes "providing incentives and promoting personal responsibility are more effective than imposing impractical mandates."

CLICK HERE to see the entire press release from Governor Greg Gianforte.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: