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Gallatin County Board of Health votes to extend portions of local emergency rule, temporarily holds off on business closing time decision

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Posted at 11:20 AM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 13:20:11-05

BOZEMAN — The Gallatin City-County Board of Health made a series of votes along with Wednesday morning’s action, including extending the countywide mask mandate, quarantine rules and rules about visitation at assisted living facilities.

But they did not extend restrictions on business hours, at least not yet.

After a meeting that lasted nearly six hours, the board decided it will discuss those restrictions further when they were originally set to expire, which is in two weeks on February 4.

The mask mandate, which was supported by many in phoned-in public comment, will now be in place until April 20.

But the heated discussion weighed in and around business closing times which still is restricted to 10 p-m.

Board member Buck Taylor discussed the possibility of moving that time back to midnight, which the board considered making a motion on but decided to hold off on further discussion until they could amend the emergency rule appropriately.

Matt Kelley cited the short supply of vaccine doses, saying the decision is still a difficult one.

“The constraint is the supply of vaccine,” Kelley says. “We simply don’t have the vaccine and it’s not anybody’s fault. We don’t really have the full visibility of when we are going to get the vaccine to be able to schedule points of dispensing.”

Board members also say they want to see impacts of returning MSU students further, as well as the scheduled reopening of Bozeman schools while reassessing the rule.