In response to preventing the spread of coronavirus, Butte health officials took emergency action Monday that could have a dramatic economic effect on some local businesses.
“All bars, breweries, distilleries, casinos, restaurants and gyms, shall be closed to the public effective 4 p.m. today,” said Butte Health Department Director Karen Sullivan.
The closures will remain in effect for a week until March 23rd. Grocery and convenient stores will remain open, and restaurants with carry-out or delivery services will also be allowed to operate.
County offices will remain open, for now, but that could change.
“It’ll be a day-to-day decision being made on how far we go and it the virus spreads we might have to take some other steps,” said Butte Chief Executive Dave Palmer.
St. Patrick’s Day has always been a big day for restaurants and bars in Butte, but this week-long closure will certainly have a negative impact on many businesses.
“It’s a tough decision, it’s going to have a long-term economic impact. There’s going to be some businesses that won’t be able to reopen after this order,” said Tom Cronnelly, the owner of OMG Mongolian Grill in Uptown.
The Health Department reports that there has been one confirmed case of coronavirus in Butte.