BOZEMAN, MT — The Gallatin City-County Board of Health is planning on meeting first thing Friday morning, as the numbers continue to rise.
The decision made at this meeting would see what would almost be like a step back in time, at least in pandemic standards when we are looking at Phase One-like restrictions. Many businesses say they are preparing for that in every way possible.
When it comes to preparations, there can never be enough. “It’s scary,” says Katie Nunn, the head server at the Western Cafe in Downtown Bozeman. “I’ve got kids in school and it’s alarming, to say the least.” For Nunn and the rest of the staff of the Western Cafe, the uptick of the case numbers meant it was a matter of time before restrictions would come back into play. “We get a lot of people in here that come every day,” Nunn says. “They are our family so it is important.”
The oldest Bozeman cafe has been following the protocols since the beginning. To them, new restrictions mean they are still following them for a reason. Everything is still constantly cleaned.
“Everything and that’s every time a table leaves, everything that they touch, everything like that.”
The three primary restrictions that will be discussed at the meeting are: bringing back closing hours for certain businesses like bars, casinos, distilleries, tasting rooms, etc. from 12 am to 10 pm. Tables would be limited to six persons per table. Also, limiting capacity for other high-risk businesses and places of assembly from 75 percent to 50 percent. And then: regardless of social distancing ability, keeping groups to no more than 25 people.
“We have little red placards that say do not sit here until it’s been wiped,” says Abby Middleton, manager at Rockford Coffee downtown. The staff at Rockford Coffee will also be listening to the updated restrictions closely. “It’s going to be crazy and for now, as far as I know, I think we are going to be kind of sticking with where we are at,” Middleton says. “We haven’t really made a ton of progress away from COVID restrictions. We’ve been trying to keep it pretty strict.” “It’s kind of a waiting game to see what’s going to happen but, in the meantime, we all just need to be kind and thoughtful to one another,” Nunn says.
To participate virtually in Friday’s meeting, please register in advance at https://bit.ly/3oOOurY. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The meeting will also be audio live streamed via AVCapture
. Friday’s meeting will be virtual in order to follow social distancing protocols and to keep participants safe. Those who wish to comment on the proposed rule can send public comments electronically prior to the meeting or access the meeting via computer or telephone to help keep everyone safe and socially distanced.