Gallatin County has to get serious about staying home and Governor Bullock has now put a directive in place. City Commissioner, Terry Cunningham, discusses where we stand.

Daily Update / Tip: On March 26th, Governor Bullock issued a directive that included: A) Stay at Home / Social Distancing Requirements, B) Cessation of Non-Essential Businesses, C) Public Gathering Restrictions, D) Travel Restrictions, and guidance on what constitutes essential businesses, essential travel, etc. These restrictions will take place at 12:01a.m. on Saturday March 28th 2020 and will last through April 10th, 2020. You are encouraged to read the document for answers to your questions. Since not every possible scenario is included in his letter, the Governor also referenced a directive from Homeland Security that provides further guidance on the issue of “essential” critical infrastructure.  PLEASE heed the Governor’s order – it will save our neighbor’s lives. To quote the Governor: “These measures can save lives across the United States now. Montana must act now, before its own rate of infection mirrors that of other states. While the times ahead will not be easy, Montanans have always pulled together in times of crisis. This crisis is no different, and will require all Montanans, collectively, to do their individual part to slow the growth of COVID-19 infections and protect their friends, family, and neighbors from this dangerous infection.”

FAQ: Q: Why are there more confirmed Covid-19 cases in Gallatin County than any other Montana county? A: That’s a complex issue, and there’s no one answer, but consider the following factors: 1) The County attracts domestic and international tourists and visitors for winter recreation (ski hills, snowmobile trails, ice climbing destinations, etc.) and to visit Yellowstone National Park. 2) We have a thriving business community and the busiest airport in the state, so more travelers into and out of the county. 3) We are blessed with a university that has global reach in terms of programs / studies / students. 4) Gallatin County is a community “on the move” that enjoys spring break trips and adventures abroad. Steps have been taken to mitigate the challenges posed by all of these factors. Pulling Together: Attached are two photos taken a day apart just south of Main Street in Bozeman. The “Look Out For Each Other” sign was originally posted as a traffic calming device, but it has been re-purposed as an admonition to the community – we’re all in this together. The Longfellow Elementary School sign reminds us that our hearts should always be open to one another. Especially now.

 

What Can I Do? A special plea to our younger residents. As illustrated in the chart below, people under the age of 50 account for over 60% of confirmed cases in Gallatin County (23 of 38 total cases) so your ability to heed the “stay at home” directive is critically important to EVERYONE in the community, including the elderly, our healthcare workers, our first responders and your friends.