At a press conference in Billings on Thursday, Governor Steve Bullock continued to plead with Montanans to take the COVID pandemic seriously, as case numbers continue to rise.

“We need every Montanan to take it seriously because just one person with COVID-19 in the wrong place at the wrong time can spoil the whole bunch,” said Bullock. “We've seen it from gatherings large and small where social distancing and masking aren’t being followed. We've seen it from employees who have to go to work sick, or from a crowded night at a bar open past 12:30.”

Bullock praised the majority of compliant businesses and scolded those who are not.

“There are a great many businesses who are taking the right actions to protect their workers and customers,” he said. “By masking up; by social distancing; by disinfecting and all the common sense measures to protect our fellow Montanans, but again, just one business not complying with the public health measures puts an increased risk on everyone else who's doing their due diligence to be safe and keep others safe.”

Bullock singled out Flathead County for having one of the state’s worst records of COVID at this time.

“I've heard from many Montanans that they're worried about the health of their community,” he said. “One place I’ve have heard significant concern from is the Flathead area, where last month alone, the county reported over 1700 cases. There were 503 new cases in the most recent reporting week alone. I've heard from hospital leaders from the area that the situation is getting serious in our health care workers are stretched thin. I've heard from business owners that want to stay open and not lose employees or customers to this virus.”

Also speaking at the press conference were the Yellowstone County Health Officer and the President of the Billings Chamber of Commerce, all asking businesses to comply with the state’s health orders.