The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Blaine County Health Department: Blaine County Update


March 18, 2020

The Blaine County Health Department, the Board of Health (consisting of the three Blaine County commissioners and two appointed community members), and the Health Officer are acutely aware of the public health emergency that is ongoing with pandemic COVID-19.

Our priority is the health and safety of people who choose to live and work in our county.

We recognize that county healthcare providers have seen patients that meet criteria that has led to tests for COVID-19 being collected from Blaine County residents.

With these considerations in mind, and with the support by vote of the Blaine County Board of Health, the Health Officer in Blaine County has determined that it is in the best interest of the residents of Blaine County that she issue the attached order.

On Thursday (3/19/2020) all effected establishments were contacted by the Blaine County Health Department. They were notified and given a copy of the order. Additionally, they were given a dedicated phone number and email address to use for questions.

The Blaine County Health Department would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the effected establishments for playing a role in protecting the health of Blaine County. Our goal is to get people back in our Blaine County businesses as soon as it is safe. Thank you for being a partner in achieving that goal.


WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus a pandemic;

WHEREAS, all states in the United States are experiencing confirmed cases of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) recognizes COVID-19 as a threat to the residents of Montana;

WHEREAS, there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State of Montana;

WHEREAS, the Blaine County Health Department has activated response plans and protocols to prepare for cases of COVID-19 in Blaine County;

WHEREAS, proactively implementing mitigation measures to slow the spread of the virus is in the best interests of Blaine County and its people;

WHEREAS, COVID-19, a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death and is a new strain of Coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans and can easily spread from person-to-person;

WHEREAS, the CDC identifies the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 both globally and in the United States as "high" and has advised person-to-person spread of the COVID-19 will continue to occur globally, including within the United States and Montana;

WHEREAS, the circumstances of this outbreak may exceed the capacity of the services, personnel, equipment, supplies and facilities of Blaine County;

WHEREAS, based upon all of the above, the Governor of the State of Montana, in consultation with public health authorities and CDC recommendations, has strongly recommended limiting of all gatherings, specifically gatherings of more than 10 people;

WHEREAS, the Blaine County Board of Health has the duty to protect the public from the introduction and spread of communicable disease or other conditions of public health importance, including through actions to ensure the removal of filth or other contaminants that might cause disease or adversely affect public health;

WHEREAS, the Blaine County Board of Health has determined the potential spread of COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency and actions must be taken to avert and minimize the outbreak of this communicable disease;

WHEREAS, pursuant to Montana Code Annotated § 50-2-118, a local health officer in carrying out the purpose of the public health system shall take steps to limit contact between people in order to protect the public health from imminent threats, including but not limited to ordering the closure of buildings or facilities where people congregate and cancelling events;

WHEREAS, the Blaine County Board of Health has determined the local health officer should institute her authority to close buildings and facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within Blaine County, Montana.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, pursuant to Title 50, Chapter 2, Part 1, specifically Montana Code Annotated § 50-2-118,

All bars, casinos, restaurants, and other businesses with dine-in public seating, with the exception of:

• drive-through,

• delivery,

• and pick-up services (including entering the business to pick-up goods)

within Blaine County, Montana, shall be closed to the public. This order shall be effective at 12:00 p.m. FRIDAY MARCH 20, 2020 THROUGH FRIDAY MARCH 27, 2020 pending further notification.

Jessica Sheehy PA-C



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