BUTTE — The Butte-Silver Bow Health Department conducted a news conference Tuesday to announce righters restrictions in the wake of a spike of COVID-19 cases in the community.
Officials announced that Butte is averaging about 84 positive cases per capita out of a 100,000-population, putting the city in the red zone for risk. As a result, they ordered that businesses must reduce capacity from 75 percent down to 50 percent capacity.
Bars, casinos, and distilleries must now close at 10 p.m. as opposed to midnight.
Any public events or activities involving 25 people or more must first be approved by the health department.
Officials noted that these restrictions have the support of the chief executive, the council of commissioners, and Sheriff's office.
“We're asking from the bottom of our hearts, this is not an order, but we're asking to stay at home. If you have to go to work, we get it, if you have to get groceries, we get it, but we're asking this community in an advisory sort of way to please stay home,” said Health Department director Karen Sullivan.
Dr, Shawna Yates of Southwest Montana Community Health Center added, “We continue to get together in large groups if we continue to believe it won't affect me if we continue to go about our day like this is not a big deal it may very well affect you or someone very, very close to you. But covid-19 is not a cold, it can exhibit a very systemic reaction through the entire body and people can have long-term effects from the illness, they can die suddenly from the illness and it does not care whether you are young or old.”
The health department will re-assess the order on December 1st, and if numbers decline enough, the restrictions will be eased.