HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – Governor Steve Bullock announced on a press call Tuesday afternoon that he will be extending school closures and the Stay-at-Home directives another two weeks.
They are now set to expire on April 24th. Other directives that are being extended include the suspension of foreclosures, evictions, and utility shutoffs; the traveler quarantine; and the closure of non-essential businesses.
Two new directives were also issued. One waives a requirement that local and county governments implement a 2 Mill Emergency Levy in order to access new funding from the federal CARES Act. The other directive provides clarification that makes sure first responders are notified before they come into contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.
Bullock also encouraged Montanans to wear cloth masks or other facial coverings when out in public, in accordance with new CDC guidelines. Bullock stressed that this does not replace social distancing, and that N95 and other medical grade masks should only be worn by those that need them.
Bullock says Montana has received five times more N95 masks from North Dakota than the federal government. He adds that he is working to acquire more personal protective equipment for the state through both public and private methods.
Bullock also provided new details on the COVID-19 outbreak in Toole County. There are a total of 20 cases related to that outbreak, with three of the cases involving people in neighboring counties.
Seven of the cases are residents of an assisted living facility, five are employees of the facility, seven are people from a neighboring medical facility and one family contact.
All residents of the long term care facility are under quarantine.
The state also released racial data regarding COVID-19 cases in Montana.
Of the 319 confirmed COVID-19 cases confirmed in Montana as of Tuesday morning, 95 percent of the people infected are white. About 3.5 percent of cases are Native American, but no cases are directly from tribal reservations at this time.