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Montana National Guard helps set up "isolation shelters" in Helena

Montana National Guard helps set up "isolation shelters" in Helena
Montana National Guard helps set up "isolation shelters" in Helena
Posted at 4:30 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-01 11:50:27-04

Lewis & Clark County purchased two military-grade tents for individuals that test positive for COVID-19 and need an isolation shelter.

Members of the Montana National Guard and several Boy Scouts helped the Lewis & Clark County Disaster & Emergency Services set up the tents at the fairgrounds. Reese Martin, the coordinator of emergency services, says these tents will house those needing an isolation shelter from COVID-19.

"We are trying to establish facilities for individuals who test positive for the COVID-19 virus and do not require hospitalization, but cannot isolate on their own due to their living situation," said Martin.

Lewis & Clark Public Health will monitor who gets to stay in the tents. The tents will have dividers and amenities to make living comfortable for those who stay. The tents can also be used for other emergency or disaster situations and may be kept through the winter.

According to DES, individuals will be supervised on a 24-hour basis by staff and paid volunteers. Anyone wishing to work the tents may call the DES office at 406-447-8285.

"We would like volunteers that can, basically, understand that they are monitoring these individuals to make sure they do not take a turn for the worst, and if they do, then call for ambulance and medical services," says Martin.

The paid volunteers will have their own unit on the fairgrounds as well. In all, the county spent $7,500 for the tents and will seek reimbursement from the federal CARES Act that provides funding for COVID-19 expenses.

Lewis & Clark County hope to have the tents officially ready to go by mid-August.