Governor Announces Extension of School, Business Closures

HELENA, Mont. (NMB) – In a conference call on Tuesday afternoon, Governor Steve Bullock announced several directives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bullock announced that the closure of schools and numerous businesses will continue through April 10th, though that may be extended or shortened by further directives. Bullock is also asking businesses that are still open to limit attendance and maintain social distancing.

In addition, all non-essential social or recreational gatherings of more than 10 people outside of residences are now outlawed if social distancing cannot be maintained.

“The earlier directive said ‘discouraging all social gatherings, particularly those of a certain number.’ This is a bit more restrictive, and we’re asking Montanans to comply,” Bullock said, adding that it will be up to local governments to enforce the new directive.

Bullock also temporarily suspended certain government office hour requirements so that local government officials can maintain proper social distancing.

The additional directives comes days after believed community spread of the virus in Gallatin County.

Bullock also announced the state received 4,000 additional swabs for testing and 50,000 face masks over the weekend.

Montana is also expecting to receive more personal protective equipment from the national stockpile later this week.

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