BILLINGS - Yellowstone County Health Officer John Felton on Friday announced a public health order restricting visitations to area nursing homes.
Felton made the announcement at a press conference Friday afternoon noting the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the county and the risk to residents of care facilities.
The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 4, and prohibits visitations to "skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and adult group homes."
The only exception to the order is "compassion visitations at the end of life," the order states.
For those making end of life visits, the order requires them to wear a mask or face covering at all times in the facility.
Felton's order also recommended that all such facilities adopt policies requiring workers, contractors, delivery personnel and others who might enter the facility to wear masks or face coverings.
The order will remain in effect until rescinded or modified, Felton said.
In issuing the order, Felton said said Yellowstone County has "recently experienced a significant increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases affecting staff and residents of multiple senior living and assisted living facilities, which represents an imminent threat to vulnerable residents living in such facilities."
Watch the full press conference in the video above.