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Montana's emergency response will now align with federal government

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Posted at 11:08 AM, Mar 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-14 18:51:47-04

Governor Steve Bullock has amended Montana’s current state of emergency to align with the federal state of emergency announced by the President of the United States. This means that the state’s emergency response will be in effect so long as federal authorities believe there is a continuing threat. The announcement was made in a Saturday morning press release.

“We remain committed to being at the highest-level response,” said Governor Bullock. “By taking this step, we can ensure that we can continue doing everything necessary, as long as necessary, to closely monitor this fast-moving situation and aggressively respond.”

The emergency order [governor.mt.gov] allows the governor to direct a coordinated response to an outbreak of communicable disease. This includes mobilizing all available state resources, such as emergency funds or personnel from the National Guard. It also allows the governor to take additional steps as warranted.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, local health departments, health and medical departments and local jurisdictions have activated response plans and protocols to respond to the arrival of the virus in Montana.

On March 3, Governor Bullock activated the Governor’s Task Force, a multi-agency executive task force, to prepare the state and ensure the state, local public health, and the federal government are working together to keep Montanans informed with accurate and up-to-date information. The Task Force is spearheaded by Adjutant General Matthew Quinn, who oversees the Disaster and Emergency Services division which is well versed in multi-agency coordination and all-hazard response planning.
The Task Force has launched an informational phone line at 1-888-333-0461 and Montanans can also email questions to covid19info@mt.gov . State public health officials will be responding to inquiries from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

A website has also been set up to keep the public apprised of Task Force actions at COVID19.mt.gov [covid19.mt.gov] . Montanans can also visit the DPHHS website at www.dphhs.mt.gov [dphhs.mt.gov] for the most updated and timely health information related to the coronavirus. The Governor’s Office, Task Force, and DPHHS will continue to provide up-to-date information to Montanans as it becomes available.