Montanans rally at the capitol to reopen the state

Posted at 1:19 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 19:54:16-04

HELENA — Hundreds of Montanans rallied in support of reopening the state Sunday afternoon.

The large group gathered on the north side of the capitol building in Helena for the Montana Liberty Rally. Many people on hand held American flags and signs voicing concerns over their constitutional rights.

Organizers estimate about 600 people showed up at the rally.

The group is demonstrating against Gov. Steve Bullock's order closing schools, businesses and churches in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Montana has been under a statewide stay-at-home order since Saturday, March 28.

This weekend President Donald Trump said Montana would lift restrictions on Friday, April 24. The President's announcement comes following Governor Bullock saying on Friday that he was working on phased reopening of the state.

Bullock is still finalizing plan, and in a statement to MTN, said, ""This plan is being drafted based on science and data ... and will consider the specific needs of Montanans. The governor recognizes that this crisis is not over and moving too quickly could jeopardize the progress Montana has made. Governor Bullock will announce next week what a gradual re-opening after April 24 will look like."

As of Sunday morning the state had 433 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 18 active hospitalizations and 10 deaths. So far, 243 people have recovered from the virus in Montana.

***This story was updated to add the organizer's estimate for the number of people who showed up.***