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Bullock Releases Phased Reopening Plan


Governor Steve Bullock announced a “phased re-opening” plan for Montana during a news conference April 22. Many retail businesses were allowed to open April 27.

Churches were allowed to hold services 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.

According to Fort Peck Tribes executive board member Kaci Wallette, restrictions and guidelines set in place by the Fort Peck Tribes will remain in place through May 22, including curfew, shelter in place and state of emergency orders. Enrolled tribal member-owned “non-essential” businesses on the reservation will not be allowed to reopen until restrictions are lifted.

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.

To read the plan in full, visit montana-phased-approach-pdf.

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