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Governor announces extension of closures, mandates social distancing

Montana public schools, dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses to remain closed


March 24, 2020

HELENA - Montana's governor today announced he is extending his orders to reduce exposure to novel coronavirus 2019 through April 10 and mandated "social distancing."

"Montanans have an obligation to slow the spread of this virus. Our fellow Montanans can all continue to set a good example for each other in adhering to social distancing directives, and know that it will save lives," Gov. Steve Bullock said in a press release. "For every person who stays at home and avoids non-essential gatherings, the better our chances to fight this virus and protect our frontline health care workers and emergency responders."

He announced announced that, effective immediately, non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals outside of a home or place of residence of greater than ten people are prohibited if a distance of at least six feet between people cannot be maintained. This measure is consistent with actions taken in other states to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Retail businesses are also required to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies to ensure a minimum of six feet between customers, effective Saturday This requirement does not apply to grocery, health care, medical, or pharmacy services, although they are also encouraged to comply with social distancing protocols if possible.

  The April 10 extension also applies to his directives a directive to extend closures of public schools and dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses.

Great Falls and Helena dioceses have ordered Catholic elementary and high schools to stay closed to May 4.

The directives allow businesses to provide food on a delivery, drive-through or carry-out basis.

The directive, like its predecessor orders, is a public health order enforceable by county attorneys. It preempts all county health ordinances if they are less restrictive.


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