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Hill County Courthouse goes into lockdown

People asked to call ahead if need entry


March 18, 2020

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert

A sign outside 5th Avenue Grind in Havre designates that all orders must be called or texted in before picking them up at the drive-thru window to limit exposure with COVID-19. The Hill County Health Department announced that all bars and restaurants will shut down services, except for to go and delivery, Tuesday.

Havre Daily News staff

Along with closing in-facility dining and drinking in restaurants and bars, Hill County now is closing its courthouse and is requiring people to call in if they need access.

The Hill County commissioners have made the decision to change our procedures during this effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus," Commissioner Diane McLean said in a statement released this morning. "The courthouse will be locked and we are asking the public to call and make an appointment with any office they need to see. Department heads are being asked to operate with a skeleton crew for essential services.

"The public is being asked to use the online services available as much as possible," McLean continued. "This will go into effect (Thursday) morning at 8 a.m. until further notice. The courthouse phone number is 265-5481 and all offices have extensions that are available at the switchboard."

That follows County Health Officer Jessica Sheehy issuing an order Tuesday that all Hill County bars, breweries, casinos and restaurants will be closed to the public with the exception of drive-thru, delivery and pickup food services.

The order also requires all gymnasiums, athletic clubs, fitness studios and yoga studios to limit the number of people in them, including employees and staff of the facilities, to 10 people.

The order was effective through next Tuesday, March 24.

Hill County Public Health Director Kim Larson said this morning that customers can go to restaurants and order food to go if the restaurant allows it, provided they do not eat there.

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert

Triple Dog Owner and Head Brewer Michael Garrity fills a customers growlers Tuesday at Triple Dog Brewing Co. in Havre. Garrity had to cancel St. Patrick's Day celebrations and only was allowed to have customers pick up beer until 5 p.m. The Hill County Health Department announced that all bars and restaurants will shut down services, except for to go and delivery, Tuesday.

The cities of Havre, Chinook and Harlem and the county governments in Blaine, Chouteau and Liberty counties have not implemented closures much more than what Gov. Steve Bullock mandated Sunday, although the Havre Community Pool and Havre-Hill County Library is closed and Liberty County declared a disaster, as did Hill County.

Sunday, Bullock ordered the closure of all public K-12 schools and limited visitations to nursing home facilities.

Bullock, saying he was acting in consultation with public health authorities, also strongly recommended that people:

• Limit all gatherings, especially those with more than 50 people.

• Organizers should refrain from planning new gatherings and cancel existing gatherings and people should avoid attending large gathereings.

People 60 or older should not participate in any gatherings, especially gatherings of more than 20 people.

• People with who are compromised immune systems or with chronic health conditions should not participate in any gatherings, especially those with more than 20 people.

• Parents should avoid, if possible, placing children for child care with grandparents, family members, friends, or providers 60 or older or people with compromised immune systems.


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