HELENA — Montana will begin a phased reopening of the state beginning next week, as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually lifted.
Governor Steve Bullock said the phased reopening is designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 resurgence while protecting vulnerable populations.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in times of crisis Montanans have pulled together,” said Gov. Steve Bullock. “Montanans have taken the directives seriously, and gone to great lengths to keep our fellow Montanans healthy and safe. This has not been the result of the actions of a few, but rather the effort of all of us as Montanans.”
Montana has one of the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and resulting fatalities per capita for the nation.
Bullock said it was only through the work and sacrifices of all Montanans that made the reopening viable at this time.
“While there is reason for optimism, this is no time for celebration,” said Bullock. “I’m going to ask Montanans to continue to go to great lengths to protect one another, to continue looking out for our neighbors who need it most and continue to be vigilant in every step that we take.”
During Phase One of the reopen plan, people are still asked to use social distancing, practice good hygiene, not gather in groups of 10 or more and wear a mask at grocery stores.
Beginning Sunday Apr. 26, the stay at home order will be lifted and places of worship can become operational again with reduced capacity. Places of Worship will need to follow strict physical distancing protocols between non-household members.
On Monday Apr. 27, many retail businesses can become operational, including hairdressers, but are asked to ensure distancing and health safety for their customers.
Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos can become operational on or after May 4 under strict physical distancing and reduced capacity protocols in accordance with State guidelines.
All COVID-19 vulnerable individuals should continue to follow the stay home guidance during Phase One, and employers are encouraged to continue telework and work from home options.
Beginning May 7, all schools have the option to return to in-classroom teaching. If schools plan to reopen they should consider: Implementing an alternative educational delivery model that includes a mix of in-person and remote learning and provide focused individual education, especially for at-risk students.
The Governor’s travel restriction, which requires anyone traveling from out of state to quarantine for 14 days, will remain in effect during phase one. The State does not have a firm timeline on when the travel restrictions will be lifted.