National Guard troops activated for COVID-19 response in Montana

Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 20:28:18-04

HELENA — At the direction of Governor Steve Bullock, more Montana National Guard soldiers and airmen have been activated for COVID-19 response.

On Monday, Bullock ordered a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in Montana, saying that the directive applies both to Montana residents and non-residents entering the state for non-work-related purposes. It requires a self-quarantine for 14 days, or the duration of a non-work trip to Montana, whichever is shorter. It also instructs the Montana Department of Commerce to advise vacation listing and rental sites that they must notify potential out-of-state renters about the quarantine requirement. Health care workers are excluded from the directive.

The 73 soldiers and airmen will be screening people arriving in Montana from other states and countries. Beginning Friday, April 3, they will be stationed at airports in Bozeman, Billings, Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls, and Butte. They will also have a presence at train stations in Whitefish, Havre, Shelby, and Wolf Point.

Additionally, each location will have a Montana National Guard liaison officer to work with local Disaster and Emergency Services representatives, public health officials, airport management, and Transportation Security Administration officials.

"At the request of the Governor, Montana National Guardsman volunteers are stepping forward across the state to assist in the on-going effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In this time of need, the National Guard team will conduct screening with professionalism and will always treat Montana citizens and visitors with the dignity and respect they are entitled to. We are preparing our Soldiers and Airmen to respond to all future requests for assistance to support communities across the state." said Major General Matthew Quinn, the Adjutant General and Montana COVID -19 Task Force Leader.

Members of the Montana National Guard had previously been activated by Bullock for COVID-19 response to assist in the arrival and transport of eight Montanans returning from quarantine at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia on March 15.