Montana Governor Steve Bullock, citing the growing number of COVID 19 virus cases in Montana, now standing at 90, issued a statewide stay-at-home order to all Montanans to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

Bullock asks Montanans to stay at home to the maximum extent possible except for essential activities, as well as temporarily restricting all nonessential businesses and operations.

At a press conference in Helena, Bullock made the announcement.

“In consultation with public health experts, healthcare providers and emergency management professionals, I’ve determined that protect public health and human safety that it’s essential to the maximum extent possible that individuals stay at home or at their place of residence,” said Bullock. “Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 28 we’ll be implementing immediate measures to ensure social distancing by Montanans staying at home except for essential activities and services. Such an approach will reduce the overall number of infections in our state, and it will preserve our healthcare resources.”

Bullock provided some exceptions to the stay-at-home order.

“Under these orders Montanans may leave their homes for essential activities, including for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for certain types of work and to take care of others,” he said. “Additionally, Montanans may leave their homes for outdoor activities, as long as they comply with social distancing requirements.”

Bullock then turned to federal guidelines to determine which businesses and workers were deemed to be essential.

“To determine which businesses and workers are exempt from the order and should continue working we’re following guidelines largely developed by the federal government,” he said. “The Department of Homeland Security put out something on March 19th talking about essential workers and businesses. It spells out a bit more in the directive providing a more comprehensive list of businesses that will remain open.”

A press release from the governor’s office provided the following information:

Under the directive, Montanans may leave their homes for essential activities, including:

 

  • For health and safety. To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional.
  • For necessary supplies and servicesTo obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies they need to work from home, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
  • For outdoor activityTo engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social distancing, as defined below, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, running, or biking. Individuals may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas, including public lands in Montana provided they remain open to recreation. Montanans are discouraged from outdoor recreation activities that pose enhanced risks of injury or could otherwise stress the ability of local first responders to address the COVID-19 emergency (e.g., backcountry skiing in a manner inconsistent with avalanche recommendations or in closed terrain).
  • For certain types of workTo perform work providing essential products and services at Essential Businesses or Operations or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Directive, including Minimum Basic Operations.
  • To take care of othersTo care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household, and to transport family members, friends, or pets as allowed by this Directive.

Follow this link to learn about which occupations and businesses are essential under the directive.