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Steve Bullock in 2019. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) on Wednesday issued a statewide order requiring people in the state to use face coverings in public indoor spaces effective immediately to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Montana is the 26th state in addition to the District of Columbia to mandate the use of face masks as COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the U.S.

What they're saying: "Many Montanans answered the call to mask up – a call that came from our hospitals, nurses, and doctors, our vibrant small business community, our frontline workers, and our high-risk neighbors. But we need even more Montanans, and the visitors who come here, to mask up," Bullock wrote on Twitter.

The big picture: The state has reported 2,096 cases and 34 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Montana reported 109 new cases on Tuesday.

Go deeper: Walmart will require all customers to wear masks

Go deeper

Oct 24, 2020 - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Oct 23, 2020 - Health

U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began

Expand chart
COVID Tracking Project

The U.S. confirmed at least 83,010 coronavirus cases on Friday, the country's highest daily total since the pandemic started, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

By the numbers: Friday's total surpassed the U.S.'s previous record set on July 17 when 76,842 cases were recorded.