Great Falls Skyline Photo 1500 PXL

View of Milwaukee Station in Great Falls, Montana. Photo taken from the roof of The Great Falls Tribune building.

GREAT FALLS, MT This morning, the Cascade City-County Board of Health met to vote to adopt less restrictive COVID-19 control measures in light of Governor Gianforte’s recent directives.

Last week, Governor Greg Gianforte announced that he was rescinding former Governor Bullock’s Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020. Governor Gianforte also issued a new Directive implementing his Executive Order 2-2021, which lifts some restrictions but leaves the mask order in place.

The directive states that “in the interest of uniformity of laws and to prevent the spread of disease, all inconsistent local government health ordinances or orders are preempted by this Directive, but only to the extent they are less restrictive.” That is, Governor Gianforte’s directive does not supersede local health orders.

A local Health Officer Order will be issued later today and will be uploaded to the Cascade County COVID-19 webpage (check the documents section).

Four decisions were made at today’s special Board of Health meeting:

  1. Occupancy*
    1. Businesses may now increase their operations to 75% of their capacity
  2. Operating hours*
    1. Businesses identified in the previous health order** may now close between the hours of 12:30 AM and 4:00 AM
  3. Maximum assembly at events
    1. Gatherings of up to 50 people are now allowed
    2. Gatherings of 50-250 people are allowed indoors with the approval of an Event Plan Packet (will be posted on the Cascade City-County Health Department COVID-19 & Events webpage before 5:00 AM on Friday 1/22/21)
    3. Gatherings of 50-500 people are allowed outdoors with the approval of an Event Plan Packet (will be posted on the Cascade City-County Health Department COVID-19 & Events webpage before 5:00 AM on Friday 1/22/21)
  4. Date of implementation & duration of Order
    1. The above control measures are effective Friday January 22, 2021 at 5:00 AM and will remain in place until the per capita spread of the virus is 25 per 100,000 for four consecutive weeks

Notes:

  • *Exceptions to occupancy & operating hours, which are not limited to 75% capacity or to new operating hours:
    • Schools: local school districts and school boards for all school-related activities, both academic and extracurricular School Events, both academic and extracurricular 
    • Childcare facilities, in recognition of their critical role in supporting a necessary workforce
    • Food service establishments that serve a population that depends on it as its sole source of food: university dining facilities, cafeterias in K-12 schools, hospital and care facilities, room service in hotels, crisis shelters or similar institutions, airport concessionaires, and any facilities necessary for the response to the emergency, all of which may continue to operate using necessary-only personnel
  • **Businesses identified in previous health order:
    • Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffee houses, bars, brew pubs, taverns, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, casinos, gyms, movie theaters
  • These restrictions will be continually assessed as we move forward.