Governor extends COVID-19 directives through April 10
March 25, 2020
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Tuesday extended directives he had made on the novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic, keeping schools closed and limiting restaurants to delivery and pick-up services and more through April 10 and mandating 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,” Bullock said in a release announcing the extension and new mandate. “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.”
Bullock declared an emergency March 12, one day before the first four cases of the virus, which was first detected in China in November, were confirmed in Montana.
The state reported this morning that 53 cases have been confirmed in Montana.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this morning that 54,453 cases have been confirmed in the United States, with 737 deaths confirmed.
World Heath Organization reported this morning that, worldwide, 375,498 cases have been confirmed in 196 countries, areas or territories with 16,362 deaths.
In Tuesday’s directive, Bullock ordered that, effective immediately, non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals outside of a home or place of residence of greater than 10 people are prohibited if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained.
That is consistent with actions taken in other states to slow the spread of COVID-19, Bullock’s release said.
Retail businesses are also required to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies to ensure a minimum of six feet between customers, effective Saturday, the release said. 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 directive, like its predecessor orders, is a public health order enforceable by county attorneys, the release said. It preempts all county health ordinances if they are less restrictive.