Gallatin City-County Health Board moves to reopen Gallatin Co. to phase II

Posted at 10:57 AM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 14:57:33-04

BOZEMAN — After more than three hours of discussion and dozens of people in attendance for public comments, the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted Thursday morning to adopt a local emergency rule for Phase II, specifically in reopening Gallatin County.

The final vote was 7 yes and 1 no vote from Gallatin County Commissioner Joe Skinner. (An early version of this story had the vote tally incorrect)

According to the Board of Health, this will follow the governor's directive which specifies that group sizes could increase from 10 people to 50 people in cases where groups cannot safely and economically implement social distancing.

The vote also follows the directive that on June 1, local public health jurisdictions would determine if groups larger than 50 people could practice social distancing in a way that would stop the spread of COVID-19.

Health officer Matt Kelley says it is important to note that under the rule, there is also non-mandatory guidance regarding how certain businesses can consider requiring the use of face coverings for staff and customers, noting that the language is meant to be permissive and not enforced.

Kelley announced one new case of Covid-19 in Gallatin County during the meeting. This new case brings Gallatin County's total to 150. Kelley said the test was confirmed Wednesday night. This confirmed case is not included in the state's total presented Thursday morning.

Montana reported 4 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, May 28, 2020.

Big Horn County reported 3 new cases and Yellowstone County reported one.

There are currently 23 active COVID-19 cases in Montana, according to state data. The state conducted 1,150 new tests, for a total of 26,793.

There have been 17 deaths in Montana to date. There have been six deaths in Toole County, two in Cascade County, two in Flathead County, three in Yellowstone County, and one each in Gallatin County, Lincoln County, Madison County, and Missoula County.