Phase One re-opening actions starting to trickle in
April 28, 2020
Although some jurisdictions are not relaxing their restrictions, some changes are starting to happen with the stay-at-home directive after Gov. Steve Bullock announced last week that starting Sunday a phased re-opening to the state is allowed.
Bullock said it is up to local jurisdictions whether they would lift restrictions, and the situation could change with more restrictions enacted if cases start to rise again.
Although the state has suffered its 15th COVID-19 death, the number of new confirmed cases remains low, with two new cases reported Monday for a total of 451 confirmed cases. That was up from 444 Friday morning.
Rocky Boy’s and Fort Belknap Indian Reservations announced they would continue their restrictions, with Rocky Boy’s courts and health center providing updates on their Facebook pages for gradual re-openings of services.
Box Elder Schools announced it would stay closed through the end of the year, and other schools including Rocky Boy and Havre announced they are holding board meetings where the decision whether to re-open classrooms would be made.
St Jude Thaddeus School Principal Mike Haugen said the bishops of the Great Falls-Billings and Helena diocese have decided Catholic parochial schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.
Montana State University-Northern Chancellor Greg Kegel announced Northern would remain in its restricted status through May 8, the end of the semester, and is working on plans on how it will change restrictions through the year.
Hill County and Blaine County both announced they would be implementing the state’s Phase One re-opening plan, including Hill County announcing it opened the county courthouse Monday with strict social distancing enforced.
People asked to refrain from coming to the Hill County Courthouse if they feel sick or have any fever and if available, continue to utilize online and mail-in services.
Blaine County Health Officer Jessica Sheehy announced that it was adopting the state’s Phase One reopening requirements, available online at https://covid19.mt.gov .
And some businesses in the region are re-opening, although some are keeping doors closed and working primarily with telephone, internet, and drop-off and pickup services.
Havre-Hill County Library announced it is now offering the community the option to schedule check out of library materials. People can call 265-2123, email us at [email protected], or message the library on Facebook to arrange this.
The library also is continuing to livestream events, including livestreams of Light Reading 11:15 a.m. Monday through Friday, with a middle grade chapter book followed by a dance break; StoryTime live streams Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:15 a.m .; and Curiosity Corner livestream with a non-fiction book with discussion Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 a.m.
Havre Parks and Recreation reminded people that all city park playground equipment is still closed to the public due to the spread of COVID-19 virus. The parks will remain open, but all playground equipment is off limits to everyone at this time.
The department said it will update the information as needed.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks had closed overnight camping at sites including Bear Paw Lake, but FWP announced most sites will allow overnight camping starting Friday. That includes Bear Paw Lake.
Public access such as fishing access was still open, although at all sites, as in other aspects of life, social distancing guidelines had to be strictly followed.
Visitor centers, park offices and FWP lobbies are still closed to the public at this time.