Gov. Bullock extends stay at home through April 24
“Today I will be extending the directive to stay at home for an additional two weeks through April 24,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in an April 7 press call. All previous directives fall in line with the April 24 extension.
Montana has not reached its peak of COVID-19 cases yet, Gov. Bullock said. Staying at home flattens the curve and decreases the chain of transmission making it more likely health care systems can adequately respond.
He encouraged wearing face coverings in public settings but asked the public to not wear surgical or N95 masks. He cautioned against using this recommendation as a replacement for social distancing and hygiene, both critical in fighting the pandemic. A curfew is not anticipated.
This directive applies to the mandatory quarantine of those entering Montana, nonresidential public schools, on-premises food and beverage, evictions and cancellations of utility services and unemployment benefits.
Bonds were sold to help create jobs, address infrastructure needs and boost the economy. Construction workers are classified as essential. “It’s not a choice between a healthy population and a healthy economy. The two go hand in hand,” Gov. Bullock said.
Guards at airport and rail stations have tested 1,201 temperatures and referred six people to healthcare providers. No tests have been positive from these situations.
Violations should be brought up at state or local levels. “At the end of the day, this is about us taking care of neighbors, not necessarily about local law enforcement needing to interject all the time,” Gov. Bullock said.
Two additional directives discussed local and county governments and first responders.
Gov. Bullock waived the requirement that local and county governments need implement a two mills emergency levy from Federal Care Act to access emergency funding. All first responders will be notified before coming in contact with someone COVID-19 positive, giving them time to acquire proper PPE.
“We’re incredibly grateful for everything they’ve done to fight this virus on the front lines,” he said. A similar measure was in place for those whose jobs required potential contact with COVID-19 positive individuals.
“I don’t want a day to go by where a nurse or an ER doctor doesn’t have sufficient PPE to keep them, other patients and their families safe, and I don’t want a day to go by where our first responders don’t have the masks to do their jobs,” Gov. Bullock said.
He encouraged Montanans to stay home to make that a reality and to assist rural neighbors. The spread-out nature of Montana’s population leaves spaces between critical access hospitals, a reality well-known to rural area residents.
“We stay at home for the Montanans in our rural communities and for our rural healthcare workers,” Gov. Bullock said.
At the time of this press call, Montana had 319 confirmed cases and six deaths. 400 tests were anticipated this evening.