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Bullock Releases Phased Reopening Plan, School Board Meeting Set For Monday

Governor Steve Bullock announced a "phased re-opening" plan for Montana  during a news conference April 22. Many retail businesses will be open on Monday, April 27.

Churches will be allowed to hold services on Sunday. Restaurants, bars and casinos can reopen on May 4 with reduced capacity and an 11:30 p.m. closure time.

Schools have the option to return to in-classroom instruction on May 7, but districts can choose to continue distance learning. Wolf Point School District Superintendent Loverty Erickson told the Northern Plains Independent that a special board meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m. Attendance will be conducted via Zoom.

People over age 65 or with underlying health conditions are asked to continue to stay at home.

Bullock said that Montana has among the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in the nation. He said the state also has the lowest per capita number of hospitalizations in the nation.

"I recognize that for over the past five weeks Montanans all across the state have gone to incredible lengths to protect our families, friends and the greater Montana community," said Bullock. "We have made these sacrifices for health care workers. We have done so for all the other frontline workers in this crisis. We have done so for those most vulnerable to severe illness from this disease. [...] Once we begin to reopen, we want to be able to stay open. Our personal responsibility to protect those around us, particularly those most vulnerable, remains just as important as any time during this pandemic.

The plan includes several phases and explains the factors that will determine when it will be appropriate to move to the second phase of reopening. Bullock said his decision will be made based on conditions on the ground and the latest data.


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