HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – Thursday, April 2 the Hill County Health Department pressed the public to follow guidelines released by the Montana Department of Livestock concerning how to safely carry out ranching activities during the stay at home order.
Public Health Director Kim Larson said that individuals participating in cattle branding, pregnancy checking or shearing should be essential personnel only and should not only abstain from providing meals other than sack lunches, but should make sure they have water and soap available for appropriate handwashing as well.
“Don’t provide a group meal. If you have food out there offer sack lunches for people to grab and go eat and distance themselves of course. A big thing is to have water and soap available for handwashing. Hand sanitizers are good but when your hands are soiled with dirt or manure or blood or anything, the hand sanitizer is not effective. So, having water and soap available for appropriate handwashing is very important.”
Larson said it is important to try and continue to maintain that six feet rule while socializing and keep high risk individuals away from ranching activities even if it might be difficult.
“When you are taking breaks, really try to maintain that 6 feet of distance between people while socializing. So, of course continue socializing but make sure that you are very cognizant of that social distancing. Consider using branding forks to restrain animals and then keeping the number of people near the animal at one time at a minimum.”
Larson also said that it would not hurt for individuals participating in ranching activities to follow CDC guidelines and wear cloth masks as well.