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Republic Services joins the effort to help local business amidst coronavirus restrictions

Republic Services general manager Mike Cross
Posted at 10:10 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 00:25:21-04

Inspired by the work done at Double Barrel Coffee House last week, Republic Services, a waste management company in Cascade County, is joining the fight to keep local businesses afloat during the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week, management provided staff members, who must still come in to work because they are considers “essential workers,” with more than 40 meals for them and their families. The gesture was actually had a doubled impact, because they bought the food from a local business. Republic Services general manager Mike Cross says that it was important to him and to the corporate managers that both the health of their employees and the health of local businesses be a priority during this outbreak.

It’s really important that we come together as a community and we support the business that we can,” Cross said. “There are some large retailers right now that are really busy, and they’re going to be just fine on the other end of this, so it’s really important that we remember the little coffee shops, the restaurants, the breakfast place that need our support right now, while obviously practicing appropriate social distancing.”

The ruling that restaurants and bars must alter their hours and/or convert to takeout and delivery only was a blow to businesses across the state, albeit a smart decision.

That’s why Mike and the rest of Republic Services say that now is as crucial a time as any to support them as much as you can. While the smartest thing we can do right now is socially distance ourselves and stay indoors as much as possible, that doesn’t have to mean completely cutting yourself off from small businesses in your area.

This isn’t something that we just did, we found some really good causes to support like the Great Falls Public School Foundation and supporting the food pantry there, Double Barrel, the local businesses, but we want to continue to find ways to provide to the community,” explained Cross. “Whether that’s educating the market on recycling, working with ways to support causes like this.”

Republic Services told MTN that they will continue to look for local businesses to partner with and support for the duration of this pandemic.

If you are interested in working with them, you can reach Mike at 406-761-2545.

As of Monday afternoon (March 23), there are 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Montana.

Here is the total by county:
Gallatin: 16
Yellowstone: 7
Missoula: 6
Flathead: 4
Cascade: 3
Lewis & Clark: 3
Silver Bow: 2
Madison: 1
Ravalli: 1
Broadwater: 1
Roosevelt: 1

There have not been any deaths in Montana attributed to COVID-19 at this point.

Officials in Montana are keeping a list of confirmed cases in the Treasure State on an updated map and website - click here to visit the site. A spokesman for the Montana COVID-19 Task Force says that positive test results for Montana residents who are currently outside the state will not be included in the totals reported on the website, and said: "The state recognizes that its reporting totals will differ from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) total as a result of these reporting processes." Experts still believe the true number of people infected with COVID-19 remains much higher than the number of confirmed cases.

As of Monday afternoon, the DPHHS public health lab in Helena has completed 1,688 tests for COVID-19.