Governor Steve Bullock held a press call Tuesday to extend directives and announce measures to protect first responders and support local governments.
Gov. Bullock announced he is extending the state’s stay-at-home order another two weeks to April 24. The governor also encouraged Montanans to wear cloth face masks, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
“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,” Gov. Bullock said. “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.
“We also stay home so that we can more quickly rebuild to a 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.”
The governor also announced the two-week extension of other directives, including the mandatory quarantine of travelers coming to Montana, the closure of public schools, the restrictions for food and beverage businesses, and the ban on evictions and utility shut-offs due to non-payment.
Gov. Bullock also announced two new directives. Bullock says local and county governments will no longer need to use all available emergency levies before they can access state funds. Another new directive puts into place protections for first responders to be notified before they come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.