During a press conference today (Thursday 1/7), Yellowstone County public health officer John Felton rescinded all "prior Local Public Health Officer's orders" effective immediately.

The press release from RiverStone Health states that residents will be expected to "determine and maintain adequate precautionary measures by virtue of their own judgement."

Yesterday, Governor Gianforte announced his administration's approach to fighting COVID-19, where he said "personal responsibility are more effective than imposing impractical mandates."

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According to the press release, each individual resident and business in Yellowstone County will now be responsible for developing and maintaining a plan to "reduce the risk" of COVID-19.

It is recommended that these efforts consider an incorporate well-established and proven public health measures that reduce and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. -John Felton, Yellowstone County Public Health Officer

Some of the Public Health Officer orders that are being rescinded include limiting group sizes, social distancing, and mask usage.

Earlier this week, Governor Gianforte also announced his plan for COVID-19 vaccinations, with Montanans 70 years of age and older, and Native Americans being next in line to receive the vaccination, after frontline healthcare workers.

As of Wednesday (1/6), there were 258 active cases in Yellowstone County. Up from 132 cases on Tuesday (1/5), according to the RiverStone Health COVID-19 dashboard. If you need to be tested for COVID-19, RiverStone Health offers free drive-through testing at 2173 Overland Avenue. Testing is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 12:30pm, with a daily allotment of 250 tests.

Starting Monday, January 11, the site will be open from 8:30am to 2:30pm. The site will test up to 210 people a day.  Also starting on January 11, tests will be available for anyone 5-years-old and older whether they have symptoms of COVID-19 or not. People should expect that they may be at the testing site for 1 ½ hours, depending on the length of the line for testing. -RiverStone Health


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