Health Department Issues More Stringent Guidelines for Reopening
At a press conference conducted by Mayor John Engen and a plethora of city and county officials on Friday, the City County Health Department imposed more stringent guidelines on what businesses may open as per Governor Bullock’s order of April 22.
Health Officer Ellen Leahy provides details of the extra limitations imposed on Missoula businesses, at least until the opening of Phase Two.
“We are limiting events to 25 people in this Phase One, said Leahy. “Events include, but are not limited to fairs, festivals, markets including Farmers Markets, concerts, sporting events. Races, private parties outside the home must all be limited to 25 people.”
Leahy said personal care businesses in Missoula County will not be allowed to reopen according to the schedule that Governor Bullock set in his directive.
“A large number of businesses that have to do with grooming, beauty, body art, massage, spas and similar services like barbers, aestheticians and manicurists,” she said. Those were allowed to open in Phase One, however under my order they shall remain closed until Phase Two.”
Because of the scarce amount of time given for businesses to properly prepare for reopening, Leahy said the ‘main street businesses’ that were going to be allowed to open under the governor’s plan, will face more restrictions in Missoula County.
“We are allowing the reopening of those formerly nonessential businesses for curbside pickup and delivery only,” she said. “Those are the only ways they can open on April 27th, but by the end of that week we are going to ask those businesses to go through some steps with us and have some additional requirements. These are not recommendations; these are requirements, so that when those businesses do open because of our large population a retail draw, then those customers will be more protected.”
Leahy looked more favorably at the reopening date for restaurants, bars and taverns.
“We found that the reopening date for dining, breweries, distilleries, particularly with the delayed open provided better protections than the retail businesses that already had a requirement for 50 percent of capacity. For ‘quick serve’ places, the governor had recommendations for safety, but in Missoula County these will be required,” she said.
“The six feet of separation must be in place, and that includes booths. People can’t sit in every booth for safety with the six foot guidance.”
The full list of orders from the Missoula City County Health Department is below.
In addition, MCPS Superintendant Rob Watson announced that he would be advising the Missoula County School Board not to reopen Missoula’s public schools on May 7, but instead to keep the schools closed and reopen in the fall.