An order issued Monday by Gallatin City-County Health Officer Matt Kelley imposes restrictions on bars, brew pubs, wineries, casinos, and restaurants in order to help reduce spread of covid19 and slow down the current pandemic.
The order does the following:
- Orders the closure of all bars, brew pubs, wineries, distilleries with public tasting rooms, and casinos in Gallatin County effective Monday, March 16 at 9 p.m. through March 24.
- Orders restaurants to close dining room services during the same time period but allows take-out and delivery service to operate; Allows limited exceptions for food service establishments that are the primary meal sources for a population that depends on it as one of its sole or primary sources of food, such a university-based dining facilities or cafeterias in hospital and care facilities; The restrictions to not apply to grocery stores, deli counters within grocery stores, or convenience stores.
“Our goal in taking these actions is to slow down the spread of covid-19 in order to allow our health care system to prepare, build resources, and plan,” Kelley said. “We know these actions will create significant and lasting economic impact and disruption and we do not take them lightly. But in light of the current situation, we feel it is a necessary step.”
Kelley said a major concern informing the action is the potential for hundreds of people gathering for St. Patrick’s Day celebration in bars and restaurants all over Gallatin County.
“This situation is serious enough to warrant school closures so it seems reasonable and prudent to put off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations until after a pandemic response,” Kelley said.
The decision comes on the heels of recommendation from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to all Americans to limit gatherings of 50 or more people as part of a nationwide effort to reduce disease spread through social distancing. The restrictions announced in Gallatin County and other Montana communities follows similar measures announced recently in Illinois, California, New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington.