Based on recommendations provided by the Cascade City-County Health Department, the social distancing directive by Governor Bullock, and to maintain the health of our community, the City of Great Falls is instituting several protective measures due to the growing spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
NOTE: As of Monday evening, there is no government-ordered restriction on restaurants, bars, casinos, or other food-service establishments in Great Falls or Cascade County. Several other counties have implemented such restrictions - click here for details.
The following measures are effective immediately:
· Changes to the City Commission meetings format. Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Commission Meetings will only address items that are of urgent concern, including mandatory and priority items on the consent agenda. The Commission Work Session scheduled on March 17 has been canceled. Commission meetings are streamed live online (click here) and can also be seen on Spectrum channel 190. Meetings will remain in this format until further notice. To ensure the public has the ability to provide comment on any item without attending the meeting, the public is asked to email their comment(s) to email@example.com by 5:00 PM on the date of the scheduled meeting. In the subject line of the email, please include the agenda item or item number. For more information, please contact the City Clerk at 406-455-8451.
· Restricted access to the Utilities office. All Utilities customer service functions will be performed over the phone or online, rather than in person. The payment window will be closed. Customers needing to make payments may utilize the drop box, pay online using the ESuites payment website (https://public.greatfallsmt.net/eSuite.Utilities/), submit via billpay, or mail a check. Customers needing to establish or transfer service will need to contact the Utilities Department by phone as well. Contracts and required paperwork will be mailed and tracked. During this time, the City will not deploy disconnect notices or perform shut-offs for non-payment. The City may contact customers by phone to set up payment plans in order to avoid shut off processing in the future. To reach the Utilities’ customer service staff call 406-727-7660.
· Neighborhood Council meeting cancellations. The Neighborhood Council (NC) meetings for the rest of March through the second week in April are canceled. Five of the nine NC’s meet in schools, so if the schools remain closed or choose to limit public access, these NC’s would need to find alternate meeting locations or cancel future meetings. If deemed necessary, the remaining meetings in April may also be canceled. For more information, call 406-455-8496.
· Park and Recreation Department activity changes, cancellations, and postponements:
o Water aerobics and aquatic solutions classes were canceled until further notice over the weekend. Due to MSDB closing, all aquatics programs are now canceled until further notice.
o The adult basketball season has been canceled. Adult softball registration will continue. The offering of the softball program will be reevaluated closer to the start of the season.
o The Easter Egg hunt has been canceled.
o The Ice Breaker has been moved to October 4, 2020. (a follow-up press release will be sent by the Park and Recreation Department with more detailed information.)
o Activities at the multi-sports complex are canceled with the high schools and colleges suspending their seasons.
o For more information, call Great Falls Park and Recreation office at 406-771-1265.
· City 101 Academy rescheduled. The March City 101 Academy session will be rescheduled. A new class schedule will be drafted and distributed to registered participants. For more information on the City 101 schedule, call 406-455-8496.
Additional changes or cancellations will be issued as they are approved. For more information about the City of Great Falls’ COVID-19 protective measures, contact the Communications Division at 406-455-8496.
- Several Montana counties close bars and limit restaurant service
- Bullock directs two-week closure of public K-12 schools in Montana
- Two COVID-19 cases confirmed in Missoula County; total in Montana is now six
- How the coronavirus closure will affect Great Falls Public Schools
- Officials in Cascade County address coronavirus concerns
- CDC: Cancel or postpone all events with more than 50 people for next 8 weeks
- St. Patrick's Day parade and other events canceled due to coronavirus
As of Monday, March 16, DPHHS has tested a total of 204 people for COVID-19; six of those results have been positive. The state currently has the capacity to test approximately 850 more people, and anticipates receiving more tests from the CDC as needed. Click here to visit the DPHHS website. DPPHS says that COVID-19 testing is available 7 days a week; for information about testing, call 1-800-821-7284. Here is the information that has been publicly released about the six patients:
- Missoula County: woman in her 30s
- Missoula County: man in his 50s
- Gallatin County: man in his 40s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel
- Yellowstone County: woman in her 50s; recovering at home; rcquired through international travel
- Silver Bow County: man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
- Broadwater County: a man in his 50s who sought care in Lewis and Clark County; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
In addition to the six confirmed cases actually IN Montana, there is a seventh Montanan confirmed to have COVID-19. That person, from Lake County, is a part time Montana resident with no documented exposures or close contacts in Montana, and was not tested in Montana. She was tested and diagnosed in Maryland, where she currently is residing.