The Gallatin City-County Health Department said the Board of Health will meet Friday to consider new restrictions to slow transmission of COVID-19 in Gallatin County.
GCCHD said in a press release that Gallatin County is seeing "rapid, widespread, and sustained increases in new cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and outbreaks in several long-term care facilities for seniors."
"The rising level of disease is pushing hospitals in some Montana communities and neighboring states to near capacity, causing dozens of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Montana, and driving up the number of deaths of those who contract the disease," GCCHD stated in the release.
The board will consider emergency rule revisions that would enact the following changes:
- Moving the mandatory closing time for bars, tasting rooms, distilleries, casinos, and restaurants from 12:30 AM to 10 PM, and limiting group size at tables to 6 people;
- Requiring that higher-risk businesses – such as gyms/fitness centers, places of assembly, bars, restaurants, distilleries, casinos – limit the number of patrons to 50% of capacity. The Board’s current local emergency rules allow these businesses to operate at 75% of capacity;
- Limiting most physical group gatherings in Gallatin County to no more than 25 individuals, regardless of the ability to physically distance. This restriction applies to both indoor and outdoor events. Currently, the Board of Health allows groups of up to 50 people without social distancing, and larger groups if social distancing can be accommodated.
The press release said the revisions would provide exceptions for some places of assembly and houses of worship where social distancing is most feasible.
The Board of Health will hold a virtual meeting at 7 a.m. Friday, and public comment is welcome.
Click here for information on how to join the meeting and leave public comment.