MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today extended through April 24 Directives he issued to protect Montanans from COVID-19 by slowing the spread of the virus in Montana. The Directives were set to expire on April 10.
“We know that staying home will help to flatten the curve. For every person we take out of the chain of transmission of this virus, the more likely our health care facilities can handle the capacity to respond, and the more likely we can beat back this virus sooner rather than later,” Governor Bullock said. “We stay at home to ensure that our health care workers and first responders have adequate time to receive the supplies to keep them, their patients, and their families safe. We stay home to protect Montanans in our rural communities and our rural health care workers who face long distances to access care.”
“We also stay home so that we can more quickly rebuild to a thriving economy. It is not a choice between a healthy population and a healthy economy — the two go hand in hand. Managing this public health crisis now will help to prevent long-term consequences that could upend our economy for a longer duration and with a worse outcome,” continued Governor Bullock.
The extension covers the stay at home order, school closures, on-premises dining and beverage operations, eviction and foreclosure suspensions and the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for travelers coming into Montana for non-work-related travel.
Today’s Directive extends from April 10 through April 24th the following Directives:
• Closing all non-residential public schools in Montana. Previous Directive issued March 15 and previously extended through April 10.
• Closing certain on-premises dining and beverage businesses while expanding and encouraging delivery, takeout, and drive-up options. Previous Directive issued March 24.
• Extending the stay at home Directive except for certain essential activities, temporarily closing non-essential businesses, provided social distancing requirements, and limited non-essential travel. Previous Directive issued March 26.
• Limiting evictions, foreclosures, and disconnections for the duration of the Stay at Home Directive. Previous Directive issued March 30.
• Requiring a 14-day self-quarantine for individuals arriving in Montana for non-work-related travel. Previous Directive issued March 30, which followed Governor Bullock’s travel advisory on March 19th.
Other Directives issued or actions taken in response to the statewide emergency do not need to be extended as they will stay in effect for the duration of the emergency or even longer. Those actions include: designating childcare facilities as essential businesses, bolstering food security for Montana families, expanding telemedicine services to Medicaid patients, issuing emergency rules to make unemployment benefits accessible to workers laid off due to COVID-19, emergency loans for small businesses through the Small Business Administration, and calling for the census deadline to be extended until at least September 30.
Governor Bullock Extends Stay-at-Home Order
Governor Bullock also today extended Montana’s stay-at-home Directive an additional two weeks, lasting through April 24, 2020.
The Directive requires all businesses and operations in Montana, except for essential businesses and operations as defined in the directive, to stop all activities within the state.
The Directive also prohibits all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a household or place of residence.
Essential services and businesses will remain operational and open. Businesses deemed essential are required to comply with social distancing guidelines when possible including maintaining six feet of distance, having sanitizing products available, and designating hours of operation specifically for vulnerable populations.