GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Gun and Antique Show scheduled for March 19-21 has been canceled.
The organizer posted on the event website: "Because of the COVID-19 virus, the show scheduled for March 19-21 has been CANCELED!" The announcement also noted that, as of now, they still plan to hold the April 24-26 show.
On Tuesday, the organizer said that he still intended to have the show, saying they would take precautions and encourage "social distancing" and having people wear gloves and using hand sanitizer.
That announcement was met with sharp criticism by many people, including on the KRTV Facebook page:
- Dianne Hubbard Meinhardt: I am shocked and disappointed at this decision. Every precaution other businesses in this town are taking - at their own expense - can go down the drain. Totally irresponsible. Reschedule the event.
- Patsy O'Connor Medved: Unfortunately this show will not only attract locals but people from all over. It's time to think about the health of our community! Postpone, reschedule or cancel for our sake!!
- Toni Pullum Quinn: You are freaking kidding me. It’s not that you will get sick, it’s that you will make someone else sick who is making all the right choices.
- Karen Korst: Yep makes sense, close schools, all outside sports events, drive up only, but dang it we’ll have that gun show no matter what.
- Vicki Gondeiro: This is just plain irresponsible and selfish !!
- Teri Quinlan: We all have a responsibility to practice social distancing.
- Dawn Mays: As a vendor for several years in the Midwest at gun shows, I can tell you that you are being completely irresponsible! YOU ARE PUTTING ALL OF YOUR VENDORS AT RISK!
Some people supported the decision to keep the show open:
- Ashlee Liedle: Lol just stay home... problem solved.
- Brendan Gallagher: Might find some good deals since no one will be there. We are all going to get exposed eventually.
- Sherry Brown Stearns: Then DONT go! That was easy!!! I'll be there supporting our town.
There are now 10 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Montana. Here is the publicly-released information about them:
- Missoula County: man in his 20s
- Yellowstone County: woman in her 20s
- Gallatin County (3): man in his 40s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel; 2 men in their 20s
- Yellowstone County: woman in her 50s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel
- Butte-Silver Bow County: man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
- Broadwater County: man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
- Missoula County (2): a man in his 50s, and a woman in her 30s
There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Great Falls or Cascade County. KRTV is aware of concerns in the community about who should be tested and who is able to get tested, and are working to get answers from public health officials.
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