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Gallatin County extends, broadens ban on gathering places to include gyms, theaters

Order extended through April 3
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Posted at 4:16 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 20:59:47-04

Updated, 7:00 p.m. MDT, 3/18/2020: The Gallatin City-County Health Department issued a correction to its earlier press release; parks are NOT included in the extended closure order, as stated in the initial release.

In an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Gallatin City-County Health Department passed an emergency rule extending closure orders issued Monday .

The emergency rule extends the closure order to gyms, fitness facilities, athletic centers, workout studios, paintball parlors, ice skating rinks, indoor climbing venues, trampoline parks, indoor sporting arenas, cinemas, and theatres, according to a Health Department press release. The rule takes effect at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Monday's order closed bars, restaurants, casinos and brewpubs in Gallatin County through March 24. The emergency rule passed Wednesday will be in effect for all affected gathering places through April 3.

Ahead of the meeting, Health Officer Matt Kelley urged adoption of the emergency rule.

“As Health Officer, my recommendation to the Board of Health will be to adopt the rule in order to address the ongoing public health emergency and to limit spread of COVID-19 in order to protect the public health and our health care system. In my view, now is the time to act to slow spread and flatten the curve,” Kelley said in a press release.

The Board of Health heard public comment from residents and stakeholders in the community before the decision was made.

There are now 10 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Montana. Here is the publicly-released information about them:

  • Gallatin County (3): man in his 40s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel; 2 men in their 20s
  • Missoula County (3): man in his 50s, woman in her 30s; man in his 20s
  • Yellowstone County (2): woman in her 50s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel; woman in her 20s
  • Butte-Silver Bow County: man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
  • Broadwater County: man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state

NOTE: One additional case reported to date is a part-time Montana resident with no documented exposures or close contacts in Montana, and was not tested in Montana.

We will update this developing story as we learn more.