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COVID-19: Order of Montana Health Officer

March 27, 2020


WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus a pandemic;

WHEREAS, as of March 20, 2020, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates there are over 15,219 total cases & 201 total deaths;

WHEREAS, 54 jurisdictions are reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands);

WHEREAS, the Montana Department of Public. Health and Human Services (DPHHS) recognizes COVID-19 as a threat to the residents of Montana;

WHEREAS, the Governor of Montana has declared a state of emergency due to the global outbreak of COVID-1 9;

WHEREAS, the Central Montana Health District bas also worked to identify, contact, and test individuals within the jurisdiction of the Central Montana Board of Health boundaries who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 in coordination with the State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the CDC;

WHEREAS, proactively implementing mitigation and containment measures to slow the spread of the virus is in the best interests of the Central Montana Health District and its people;

WHEREAS, COVID- 1 9, a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death and is a new strain of Coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans and can easily spread from person-to-person;

WHEREAS, the CDC identifies the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 both globally and in the United States as “high” and has advised that person-to-person spread of the COVJD-19 will continue to occur globally, including within the United States and Montana;

WHEREAS, the circumstances of this outbreak may exceed the capacity of the services, personnel, equipment, supplies and facilities of the Central Montana Health District;

WHEREAS, the Central Montana Health District Board of Health has the duly to protect the public from the introduction and spread of communicable disease or other conditions of public health importance, including through actions to ensure the removal of fi lth or other contaminants that might cause disease or adversely affect public health;

WHEREAS, The Health Officer of Central Montana Health District has determined that the potential spread of COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency and actions must be taken to avert and minimize the outbreak of this communicable disease;

WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 50-2-1 1 8 of the Montana Code Annotated, a local health officer in carrying out the purpose of the public health system shall take steps to limit con tact between people in order to protect the public health from imminent threats, including but not limited to ordering the closure of buildings or facilities where people congregate and cancelling events; and,

WHEREAS, the local health officer should institute his authority to close buildings and facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the boundaries of the Central Montana Health District, Montana.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, pursuant to Title 50, Chapter 2, Part 1, and specifically Section 50-2-118 of the Montana Code Annotated:

Effective at 8 pm MST on Friday, March 20, 2020 for a period of time up to and through midnight March 27, 2020:

The following places are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public:

Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption.

    • Alcoholic beverage service businesses, including bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other establishments offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.
    • Cigar bars.
    • Health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, pools and hot springs, indoor facilities at ski areas, climbing gyms, fitness studios, and indoor recreational facilities.
    • Movie and performance theaters, nightclubs, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and music halls.
    • Casinos.
  • The places subject to this Directive arc permitted and encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-u p service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing. Customers may order and pay by telephone or online from a retailer or manufacturer licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the State of Montana. A retailer or manufacturer licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the state of Montana may deliver for sale the alcoholic beverages for which it is licensed. Delivery must be conducted by the licensee’s employees over the age of 21 and age of the purchaser and recipient must be verified at the time of delivery. The purchased alcohol must be hand-delivered to the purchaser.
    • In offering food or beverage, a place subject to this section may permit up to five members of the public at one time inside for the purpose of picking up their food or beverage orders, so long as those individuals are at least six feet apart from one another while on premises.

The restrictions imposed by this order do not apply to any of the following:

    • Establishments that offer food and beverage not for on-premises consumption, including grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries, other than those portions of the establishments restricted above.
    • Room service in hotels.
    • Healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, university dining facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities.
    • Crisis shelters or similar institutions.
    • Airport concessionaires.
    • Military dining facilities or military food operations.
    • Any facilities necessary for the response to the emergency, including schools providing necessary meal services to children.
    • All of the above-named facilities and establishments should adopt appropriate social distancing practices to avoid the spread of disease, to the extent practicable.

This order is effective at 8:00p.m. Friday, March 20, 2020 through Friday, March 27 at midnight pending further notification.

Susan Woods Health Officer Montana


Notary Public Renee Sanofsky


Download the Directive (PDF)

Last modified: March 31, 2020

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