State to enter Phase Two of re-opening June 1
Last updated 5/19/2020 at 4pm
Citing success in keeping down the spread of COVID-19 in Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock said today the state will enter Phase Two of the state re-opening plan starting June 1.
Bullock said people need to remember this is a "new normal" and is not returning to how things were before the pandemic started.
"Montana has truly has been an example for the rest of the nation in our response to this pandemic," he said, adding that that only will continue as the state goes further into re-opening if the residents of Montana continue to work to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus 2019.
"Not following these guidelines is what will get us into trouble," he said.
Those guidelines includes people who are vulnerable, such as people older than 65 or people with compromised immune systems, issues such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease staying at home as much as possible; using social distancing and wearing a cloth mask when out in public and social distancing is not possible; employers still encouraging telework, and that restrictions on visiting nursing homes still are in place.
But some things will change, he said.
One is that the restrictions on group size when social distancing is not possible will be expanded to 50 rather than 10.
Another is businesses such as restaurants, bars, breweries, casinos will remain open but now will be able to have customers up to 75 percent of maximum capacity, as can gymnasiums, pools and so on, if they can adhere to strict distancing requirements.
He said the same is true of bowling alleys, which can operate with reduced maximum capacity.
The requirement that people coming in from out of state voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days also will be lifted, although Bullock said those people will be expected to follow the guidelines for social distancing and so on.
He said he also is in contact with the National Park Service about re-opening Montana's entrances to Glacier and Yellowstone national parks and details on plans for that will be released soon.
Watch in Wednesday's Havre Daily News for more.