As of 8 p.m. Friday, March 20, Montana is closing many businesses because of the spread of COVID-19. Governor Steve Bullock announced the weeklong closure in a Friday morning announcement. The order affects businesses where people congregate such as bars, restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, theaters and more. The weeklong closure will last until March 27th, but could be extended, according to the Governor's office. That, of course, includes Ravalli County, which until now had less restrictions.

Specifically, the closure affects businesses that offer food or beverage for on-site consumption, including restaurants, cafes, coffeehouses, bars, brew pubs and breweries, distilleries, tasting rooms, clubs, cigar bars, health clubs, health spas, aquatic centers, hot springs, indoor facilities at ski areas, movie and live theaters, nightclubs, bowling alleys, bingo clubs and casinos. Governor Bullock encouraged businesses to offer take-out or delivery.

The governor said in a news release: "We face extraordinary health risks - and with it even further risks to our economic and social well-being if we do not act now. I do not take this decision lightly and it was done so in consultation with public health professionals. Montanans, too, need to take this seriously. It's up to all of us to stop the spread of this virus."

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