HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – The Hill County Health Department asks all individuals traveling into Montana to call them for instructions regarding the mandatory 14-day COVID-19 quarantine.
Public Health Director Kim Larson says the health department is really enforcing this and asks for everyone’s cooperation during this difficult time.
“We’re really cracking down on this, especially through the Governor’s directive, that this is a requirement. It is mandatory, not optional according to his directive, and it can be enforced by the County Attorney or DPHHS at the state level. Hopefully, we won’t get to that and hopefully people will just call us and self-report and not have an issue with this.”
Larson says it’s important to note there are a few things you can’t do during the 14-day quarantine that are still allowed under the stay at home order.
“Some of those things are you cannot leave to go get groceries, you can’t leave to go do public outdoor recreation with other people, you can’t go to work and that’s for 14-days because if you were exposed to COVID-19 while you were out of the state, your signs and symptoms would show up within that 14-day period and we just need to really track that.”
Larson says the primary avenue COVID-19 is spreading into Montana is through out-of-state travel and that’s why this 14-day quarantine is so important for Montanans to take seriously.
“It’s kind of confusing as to why we’re taking such drastic steps, when we have one case. However, in public health we assess the risk by looking at how a disease spreads between people, how severe the illness is and then finally if there is a vaccine or a medical treatment that can control the impact of the disease. And when there is no vaccine or medical treatment for a disease, the preventative measures that we have put in place, you know, such as handwashing and social distancing become the most important strategies that we have to protect the Hill County residence.”
Larson says that the preventative measures taken in Hill County thus far are working great and now is not the time to ease up.
“We’re really asking that everybody understands this and kind of digs in deep and just remembers that by staying apart we are coming together. And so far in Hill County it’s working, we’re at one case and we would really love to stay that way.”
If you have traveled and need to inform the health department call 406-400-2415.