Stay home order extended two weeks

By 
Steve Bullock Governor Of Montana
Thursday, April 9, 2020

Tuesday I extended my Directives through April 24 to protect Montanans from COVID-19 by slowing the spread of the virus in Montana.

These extensions include my stay at home order, school closures, on-premises dining and beverage operations, eviction and foreclosure suspensions and service disconnections and the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for travelers coming into Montana.

We don’t have to become like New York, Louisiana or Idaho. We know that staying home will help to flatten the curve. For every person we take out of the chain of transmission of this virus, the more likely our health care facilities can handle the capacity to respond, and the more likely we can beat back this virus sooner rather than later.

We stay at home to ensure that our health care workers and first responders have adequate time to receive the supplies to keep them, their patients, and their families safe. We stay home to protect Montanans in our rural communities and our rural health care workers who face long distances to access care. Stay home. Avoid gatherings

Stay home. Avoid gatherings or hanging out with people outside of your household. Only go out if you are an essential worker, or to take a trip to the grocery store, or to enjoy some fresh air.

I would also encourage you to wear a cloth mask or face covering, consistent with CDC guidelines, in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as at grocery stores or pharmacies. Please use cloth face coverings and not surgical masks or N95 masks which are desperately needed by our health care workers and first responders. It’s also important to know that while cloth masks do help protect those around you, they should not be used as a replacement to social distancing or other protective measures such as washing your hands . We stay at home for the Montanans in our rural communities and for our rural health care workers.

We are a state where there can be long distances to access care. It’s easy to look at the map of COVID-19 cases and see that many Central and Eastern Montana counties don’t yet have a positive case.

While this seems like a bright spot, an outbreak in a rural community could overrun a local healthcare facility. The distances between critical care access hospitals in Montana are far between. It is already difficult for our fellow rural Montanans to access care, and we ought not make those challenges more cumbersome.

And we stay at home so that we can more quickly rebuild our thriving economy. It is not a choice between a healthy population and a healthy economy. The two go hand in hand. Managing this public health crisis now will help to prevent long-term consequences that could upend our economy for a longer duration and with a worse outcome.

I know this is an extremely challenging time for small businesses and workers alike. We continue to strive to do everything we can to help support those businesses and workers during this time.

I can’t stress enough that every step Montanans take now and in the following weeks will make all the difference in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and getting our economy back up and running. Thanks so much for everything you are doing to slow the spread of this virus and care for the members of your community.

You can view all my Directives that have been extended online at: https://covid19.mt.gov/joint-information-center

Sincerely,

STEVE BULLOCK

Governor

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