Missoula County Offices Reopened to Public June 1 with Guidelines in Place

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All Missoula County offices reopened to the public on Tuesday, June 1, with the following guidelines in place:  

  • Masks are no longer required of employees, public or clients within county buildings. It is strongly recommended for individuals who have not had the opportunity to or cannot be vaccinated continue wearing masks in public buildings, and the county will continue to have signage encouraging the wearing of masks inside all county facilities. 
  • No individual inquiries as to vaccination status are permitted. Please note that some departments may continue requiring masks in certain areas, such as the detention facility or in clinical settings within the health department and Partnership Health Center. 
  • Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who knows they were exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 is asked not to enter county buildingsPeople experiencing symptoms can call 406-258-INFO (4636) or their primary care provider to be screened for possible COVID-19 testing. 
  • To minimize foot traffic in county buildings, visitors are asked to limit bringing family and friends with them, unless they are needed for the intent of the visit. Social distancing will be practiced in county buildings, staff and visitors must be cautious of their surroundings and make every effort to remain at least 6 feet apart. Hand sanitizer will be provided at building entrances and visitors will be encouraged to use it.
  • Virtual services may still be offered in certain departments. It is recommended for visitors to contact the department for operation details. A county directory is available online at www.missoulacounty.us/directory or by calling 406-721-5700.

Reopening information for public-facing Missoula County departments is listed below.

Clerk and Treasurer’s Office, Missoula County Courthouse First Floor, 200 W. Broadway

  • Open, in-person, to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 
  • Capacity: 10 people in the lobby, five at the windows in Treasurer’s Office 
  • Appointments are still not allowed, and people are still encouraged to go online to the Clerk and Treasurer’s site for services like motor vehicle registration, renewals and transfers, property tax payments or changes and requests for birth certificates and other records. If you show up in person, you will still get an email or text when they are about 15 minutes away from serving you.  

Clerk of Court’s Office, Courthouse Second Floor

  • Open, in-person, to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Capacity
    • Customer Service Area: three
    • Public Search Area: one
  • Appointments are preferred, but walkups are accepted. Appointments are required for marriage licenses (use the online marriage application here). The wait time for visitors without an appointment may be longer based upon recommended occupancy levels and as they serve visitors with an appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 406-258-4780 or email clerkofcourt@missoulacounty.us. The office recommends no more than one person to attend an appointment but will make accommodations as needed. Visitors with an appointment should enter the line on the right outside the office, while those without an appointment should enter the line on the left.  
  • Self-representing litigants (those without an attorney to represent them) are encouraged to submit paperwork by email (clerkofcourt@missoulacounty.us), fax (406-258-4899), mail (Clerk of Court, 200 W. Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802) or drop box (black drop box is located outside the Clerk of Court office door. Blue drop box is located next to the sidewalk on the west side of the courthouse off Woody). The regular fee for email/fax filings will be waived. You can also schedule an appointment. 

Commissioners’ Office, 199 W. Pine St.

  • Open, in-person, to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 
  • Capacity 
    • Commissioners’ lobby: three 
    • Sophie Moiese Room: 30 in audience, five up front 
    • Admin 206 Conference Room: four 
    • Admin B14 Conference Room: 10 
  • New doors have been installed on the first floor of the administration building that require keycard entry for security purposes. These will be locked unless the receptionist buzzes you in. 
  • Most commissioner meetings starting mid-June will be hybrid (both on Microsoft Teams and in person) and will take place in the Sophie Moiese room of the courthouse, as opposed to the Admin 206 conference room. 

Community and Planning Services, 127 E. Main St.

  • Open, in-person, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 
    • Land use information desk anticipated to open the week of June 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Construction will be taking place for the next four to six weeks, so many staff will continue to work remotely.  

County Attorney’s Office, Courthouse Fourth Floor

  • Open, in-person, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 

Crime Victim Advocate Program, 317 Woody St.

  • Open, in-person, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday 
  • Appointments are preferred, but not required 
  • Services are still offered remotely as well as in-person. Advocates are able to meet with clients and provide accompaniment to court; however, they are also able to provide many services over the phone. 
  • Paperwork for people to file an Order of Protection is available for self-serve on the Crime Victim Advocate front porch at 317 Woody St.  
  • For general information, visit www.missoulacounty/cva

District Court, Courthouse Second and Third Floors

  • District Court, which is a function of the state, will begin conducting in-person hearings throughout June. Those with questions should contact their attorney or the courts for additional information.

Elections Center, 140 N. Russell St.

  • Open, in-person, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 
  • Construction is taking place in the parking lot for the next little while. To allow for safe access, staff will provide all voter and candidate services in the Election Center warehouse on the east side of the complex, which will be open to pedestrian access only. Street parking will be available, as will a handful of spots in the adjacent Western Montana Mental Health Center parking lot. 

Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, 3400 Captain Rawn Way

  • Open, in-person, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday 
  • Capacity: 10 visitors in the main museum building 
  • Respectfully ask that people follow the arrows through the galleries. 

Justice Court, Courthouse, First Floor

  • Open, in-person, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Courtroom requires masks for all who have not been fully vaccinated by order of the Judges.
  • Still operating by Zoom hearings for initial appearances and law and motion, but people can be in person if they wish.
  • Bench trials for civil and criminal and temporary orders of protection (TOPs) are fully in-person.
  • Jury trials will be held if necessary.
  • Weddings can be held in the courtrooms with no capacity limit, but masks are required if needed by order of the Judges. Outdoor weddings are also an option to not have masks.

Missoula County Fairgrounds, 1101 South Ave. W. 

  • Open, in-person, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
  • Construction is taking place, and bathrooms will not be available for the week of June 1, and walls will be in process of being painted. Starting June 7, construction will settle and services will be more accessible.  

Public Works, 6089 Training Drive

  • Open, in-person, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Training Drive office.
  • Seeley Lake Refuse District Office (located at 1708 Woodworth in Seeley Lake) will open Thursday, July 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for building permits. 
  • Capacity: two customers in the Public Works lobby 
  • Changes to the schedule and restrictions may occur. 
  • Email mcpw@missoulacounty.us or call (406) 258-4753 with any inquiries. 

Sheriff’s Office, Courthouse Second Floor 

  • Open, in-person, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 
  • New concealed carry weapons permit applications and fingerprinting will be offered by appointment from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Appointments can be made by calling (406) 258-4810.
  • For Civil Process, please call (406) 258-4802 

The Detention Facility at 2340 Mullan Rd. is also reopening to the public. 

  • Reception will request that all visitors wear masks while in the facility. 
  • Four inmates will be allowed in each visitation room at one time. 
  • Visitors will be limited to three per inmate. 
  • An inmate’s eligibility for on-site visiting is dependent on their current housing assignment.  
  • It is the inmate’s responsibility to convey their availability to visitors for video visits. Video visitation can be scheduled online at icsolutions.com.   
  • There will be two kiosks available to visitors for on-site video visitation.
  • Visitors may deposit cash or make a debit/credit card deposit on the kiosk in the lobby. If they wish to avoid the fee while depositing cash, or if they have a cashier’s check/money order that they would like to deposit, there are envelopes and a safe next to the kiosk in the lobby that they may utilize. Funds will not be added to the inmate account until the end of the next business day. Visitors may still mail funds directly to the facility or make an electronic deposit with their debit/credit card online by visiting www.jailfunds.comMoney orders and cashier’s checks have a limit of $200.00. The inmate’s name, sender’s name and address as well as all appropriate fields must be completed. If all relevant information is not included, the money order or cashier’s check will be returned to sender. Funds can be mailed with the inmate’s name to 2340 Mullan Road – Missoula, MT  59808. Please address the envelope with sender’s return name and address. 
  • Inmates will receive mail Monday through Friday. Mail that is delivered on Saturday will be received on Monday evening. 

 Superintendent of Schools, 438 W. Spruce St. 

  • Open, in-person, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, often closed for lunch if both staff are offsite.  

Weed District and Extension Office, 2825 Santa Fe Court 

  • Open, in-person, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday 
  • Capacity 
    • Lobby by front desk: two
    • Small meeting room: four
    • Large meeting room: 13 
  • The Plant Clinic, 4-H Youth Development and Family Consumer Sciences are in the office full-time. Field season has started for the Weed District, so staff may not be in the office when you drop by. Make sure to call ahead or schedule an appointment with those at the Weed District office at (406) 258-4200. 

Missoula County, City launch COVID-19 Vaccination Coordination Team

Missoula County’s Office of Emergency Management, in partnership with the City of Missoula, will stand up a Type 3 Incident Management Team to coordinate COVID-19 vaccine administration throughout the county.

OEM Director Adriane Beck will oversee the efforts of the Missoula County Vaccination Coordination Team, which will open lines of coordination among all vaccine providers to ensure accurate and timely information and data exchange, coordinated vaccine efforts, sharing of resources where appropriate, and planning for each of the phases of vaccination in Missoula County. This team will remain in place until COVID-19 vaccine is widely available in Missoula County to any resident 16 or older who wants to get vaccinated.

Employing the incident management structure, more typically used in Missoula County to respond to natural disasters like wildfires and flooding, will provide the command and management infrastructure to coordinate logistical, fiscal, planning, operational, safety and other aspects of a large-scale vaccination effort among the many entities that will administer the vaccine as we move into Phase 1B.

“As the county enters Phase 1B and beyond, the team will develop strategies for identifying and connecting eligible citizens with a vaccine provider for administration as well as coordinate efforts around mass vaccination events across Missoula County,” Beck said.

The IMT will help centralize efforts among local hospitals and other healthcare providers, the University of Montana, the health department, pharmacies and other vaccine providers.

“We ask for the public’s patience as we develop the strategies necessary to ensure all those Missoula County residents who meet the phase 1B criteria can be connected to a vaccine provider in the quickest, most efficient manner possible,” Beck said. “We also ask for our citizens to be active participants in this process, pay attention to prioritization criteria, be informed about where you personally fall into the categorization and be ready to receive the vaccine when it is time. Much like boarding an airplane, the process goes much quicker when those waiting to board are ready to get in line when their section is called.”

Once these strategies are finalized, communicating up-to-date, accurate information about them to the public will be crucial. The Missoula City-County Joint Information Center, which consists of the multiple government agencies and community organizations responding to COVID-19, will help ensure timely information is widely distributed through the news media, social media, online at covid19.missoula.co and other channels.

Public Q & A on Temporary Safe Outdoor Space set for Dec. 16

The Temporary Safe Outdoor Space is located on a parcel of privately owned land north of Highway 93 between Buckhouse Bridge and Blue Mountain Road. The private property is leased to Hope Rescue Mission for $1. 

The Missoula City-County Joint Information Center for COVID-19 will hold a public question-and-answer session on the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space, a project of United Way of Missoula County and Hope Rescue Mission, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom.

The forum will feature a brief overview of the project and then will be open for the general public and news reporters to ask questions.

Missoula’s Temporary Safe Outdoor Space is a safe, healthy, secure area on private land, staffed 24/7, that will house 40 unsheltered people during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is being offered during our public health emergency because no local providers of food, shelter or services are able to operate at full capacity. A large number of people are living outdoors in unsafe situations without sanitary facilities.

The Q & A will feature Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of United Way of Missoula County; Eric Legvold, director of impact at United Way; Jim Hicks, executive director of Hope Rescue Mission; and April Seat, the Mission’s Director of Outreach. Others on hand to answer questions will be Adriane Beck, director of the Office of Emergency Management; Chet Crowser, Chief Planning Officer for Missoula County; and Anne Hughes, Missoula County Chief Operating Officer.

The costs to set up the temporary space are being reimbursed through federal CARES Act money, so no local taxpayer dollars are involved. United Way and Hope Rescue Mission are seeking additional funding to sustain the site through the winter. United Way and Mission leaders held a press conference about the plans on Nov. 20, but misinformation persists in the community. The Joint Information Center is sponsoring this forum to foster clear public information.

The Missoula City-County Joint Information Center for COVID-19 (JIC) is responsible for COVID-19-related public information that is not specifically illness-related. It is part of the response to the pandemic led by the Office of Emergency Management, which serves all of Missoula County. The communications staff of the City and County, Allison Franz at Missoula County and Ginny Merriam at the City, lead the unit.

For more information about the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space, visit the online FAQ.

Please click the link below to join the Zoom webinar:

https://ci-missoula-mt.zoom.us/j/84045466167?pwd=YWtsRHBoRCsrT1lXQyt0ZTZ3Z1FHQT09
Passcode: 117479

Or iPhone one-tap : US: +12532158782,,84045466167# or +12133388477,,84045466167#

Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 253 215 8782 or +1 213 338 8477 or +1 267 831 0333

Webinar ID: 840 4546 6167
International numbers available: https://ci-missoula-mt.zoom.us/u/kcTD9olSUz

For more information about the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space, visit this Q & A online: https://www.missoulacounty.us/government/administration/commissioners-office/temporary-safe-outdoor-spaceHere are the Zoom instructions for the meeting:You are invited to a Zoom webinar.When: Dec 16, 2020 12:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)Topic: Public Q & A on Temporary Safe Outdoor SpacePlease click the link below to join the webinar:https://ci-missoula-mt.zoom.us/j/84045466167?pwd=YWtsRHBoRCsrT1lXQyt0ZTZ3Z1FHQT09Passcode: 117479 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +12532158782,,84045466167# or +12133388477,,84045466167# Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 253 215 8782 or +1 213 338 8477 or +1 267 831 0333 Webinar ID: 840 4546 6167 International numbers available: https://ci-missoula-mt.zoom.us/u/kcTD9olSUz

Missoula County offices to start reopening to the public June 1; here’s what you need to know

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Missoula County offices will begin to reopen to the public on Monday, June 1, with precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Precautions will look different in various buildings depending on the volume of foot traffic and interaction with the public. In general, facilities will have floor markings to indicate 6-foot spacing, plexiglass or other barriers between staff and the public, and hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available for use. Staff and members of the public will be strongly encouraged or, in some offices, required to wear cloth face coverings in situations where social distancing is difficult.

Buildings also will have self-check stations set up for employees designed to review potential symptoms of COVID-19 and reminders to not report to work if they have symptoms. To facilitate this, employees will use designated entrances and exits that are separate from those the public use.

Reopening information for public-facing Missoula County departments is listed below. Guidelines and protocols are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

Clerk and Treasurer’s Office, Missoula County Courthouse First Floor, 200 W. Broadway

  • The office will open to the public Monday, June 1, with limited staff.
  • In-person services will be by appointment only. This includes motor vehicle registration, renewals and transfers, property tax payments or changes, and requests for birth certificates and other records.
  • Residents can call 406-258-4847 to make an appointment. Customers are encouraged to complete services online at missoulaclerk.us whenever possible.
  • The office encourages no more than one person to attend an appointment but will make accommodations for parties of two, such as a buyer and seller.
  • A maximum of four customers will be allowed in the office at one time: two at the open appointment windows and two in the waiting area.
  • Customers will be required to wear a cloth face covering to enter the office.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for customers, and staff will wipe down pens and other items between customers.

Clerk of Court’s Office, Courthouse Second Floor

  • The office will open to the public Monday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with limited staff.
  • In-person services will be by appointment-only by calling 406-258-4780.
  • The office requests no more than one person to attend an appointment but will make accommodations for marriage license applicants to appear together.
  • A maximum of three people will be allowed in the customer service area at a time.
  • Those with appointments should wait in their vehicle until called to limit congestion and must maintain physical distancing of 6 feet in the customer service area. Tape markings on the floor will indicate 6-foot distancing.
  • A cloth face covering is strongly encouraged for all customers. Disposable masks available upon request.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for customers, and staff will wipe down pens, counters and other items between customers.
  • Only one person will be allowed in the public search area at a time. Customers should call 406-258-4780 to request admittance.
  • Marriage applicants may continue to apply for marriage licenses online, without an in-person visit.
  • Self-represented litigants are encouraged to continue to submit paperwork by email, fax, mail or drop box. The regular fee for email/fax will be waived.
  • Attorneys in cases not yet available for e-filing are encouraged to continue to submit pleadings by email, fax, mail or drop box. The regular fee for email/fax will be waived.
  • Email: clerkofcourt@missoulacounty.us
  • Fax: 406-258-4899

Commissioners’ Office, 199 W. Pine St.

  • Commissioners will continue to hold their public meetings virtually via Teams through June.
  • The public can check the commissioners’ schedule for information ahead of each upcoming public meeting.
  • Staff check email, mail and voicemail each day.

Community and Planning Services, 127 E. Main St.

  • Staff will begin transitioning to work at the office on June 1, though the office will remain closed to the public through that week and no in-person services will be offered.
  • Starting June 29, the office will open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Members of the public are strongly encouraged to wear masks when visiting the office, and disposable masks are available if needed.
  • Guests will need to use the self-check station and sign in (including date and contact info) to assist with contact tracing, if necessary.
  • The info desk will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily to field questions from the public about zoning, permits, land use, projects or plans and can be reached by phone at 406-258-4642 or email at zoner@missoulacounty.us.
  • The department encourages the continued submission of documents and forms electronically when possible.

County Attorney’s Office, Courthouse Fourth Floor

  • The office will open to the public on June 1, with the majority of employees working in the building.
  • Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Staff may work staggered schedules to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Social distancing and other measures will be in place, and the office will modify its lobby and conference rooms to accommodate 6-foot distancing.
  • Staff and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear cloth face coverings. The office will have disposable face masks for those who need them.

Crime Victim Advocate Program, 317 Woody St.

  • The office will open to the public Monday, June 8, with limited staff.
  • Telephone-based services are strongly encouraged.
  • In-person services will be by appointment, except in cases of an emergency. This includes applications for orders of protection and other advocacy services.
  • People can call 406-258-3830 to make an appointment.
  • The office encourages no more than one person to attend an appointment but will make accommodations for parties of two.
  • A maximum of two clients will be allowed in the office at one time.
  • Clients will be required to wear a face covering to enter the office. We will provide you with a paper mask if you do not have your own.
  • Plan to maintain a 6′ distance from staff when visiting the office and/or when attending court with an advocate.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for clients, and staff will wipe down pens and other items between customers.
  • For general information, visit www.missoulacounty/cva

District Court, Courthouse Second and Third Floors

  • District Court, which is a function of the state, will begin conducting in-person hearings throughout June. Those with questions should contact their attorney or the courts for additional information.

Elections Center, 140 N. Russell St.

  • The Elections Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and providing voter services with social distancing and sanitation measures in place. Voters should expect longer wait times for voter registration, ballot replacement and other services.
  • The Elections Office must receive ballots by 8 p.m. Election Day; postmarks are not sufficient. Elections staff encourages voters who have not yet mailed their ballots to drop them at the Elections Office through June 1 or at a drive-thru ballot drop-off on Election Day.
  • On Election Day, voter registration and other services will be in the large green building on the east side of the lot, with voter parking and drop-off at the same end of the lot. The west end of the lot, closest to Russell Street, is exit-only and right-turn-only on to Wyoming Street.
  • All voters in line at 8 p.m. on Election Day will be served.
  • Drive-by ballot drop-off will be available at five locations across the county from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day:
    • Missoula County Fairgrounds
    • Lolo Elementary School
    • Bonner School
    • Seeley Lake Elementary
    • Frenchtown Fire Station

Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, 3400 Captain Rawn Way

  • Museum will open to the public on June 1 with the reduced summer hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the 10 a.m. to noon reserved for vulnerable populations. The museum will also be open from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
  • Only 10 visitors will be allowed inside the museum at any given time.
  • Signs and floor markings will indicate 6-foot distancing where necessary, and a plexiglass barrier will be installed at the front desk.
  • Visitors will follow a one-way traffic pattern while viewing exhibits.
  • Museum will close an hour earlier than normal for cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Visitors are strongly encouraged to wear cloth face coverings, and staff and volunteers will wear them when in public areas of the museum.
  • The museum will provide a sign-in sheet for visitors to assist with contract tracing, if necessary.
  • Starting Monday, June 15, small groups of 25 people or fewer will be allowed for programs outside on the grounds with proper social distancing. The number of visitors inside the museum will continue to be limited to 10. Social distancing is strongly encouraged.
  • HMFM will start accepting book and artifact donations by appointment only on June 15.
  • Volunteers can resume activities on Wednesday, July 13.
  • Groups of up to 50 can gather on the grounds with social distancing starting July 13.
  • The museum plans to resume all normal activities when the state enters Phase Three.

Justice Court, Courthouse, First Floor

  • All court hearings other than trials, order of protection hearings, and landlord/tenant possession hearings will be held by conference call or video. Parties should not appear in court unless a judge or clerk instructs them to.
  • Anyone who receives a ticket should contact the clerk of court at 406-258-3470 to schedule an initial appearance.
  • Anyone physically appearing in a courtroom must use cloth face coverings. The court will provide disposable masks for those unable to provide their own.
  • The court will not begin conducting criminal jury trials again until July, at the earliest. Civil jury trials will not resume until September, at the earliest.
  • The court is officiating weddings again under limited circumstances.
  • Upon request, initial appearances, trials and other proceedings will be available to the public via Zoom.

Public Works, 6089 Training Drive

  • The main office in Missoula will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays starting Monday, June 1.
  • No more than two customers at a time will be allowed in the lobby. The department asks that when visitors see more than one customer inside that they wait in their vehicles until a customer leaves.
  • Signage will be in place to help customers adhere to social distancing while inside. Public Works recommends that customers wear masks, and a limited number of disposable masks will be available upon entry.
  • The Seeley Lake satellite office also will open to the public June 1, but by appointment only. Please call 406-396-8148 to make an appointment.
  • Public Works inspectors will resume all inspections, including interior inspections, starting June 1. The department encourages on-site customers and contractors to wear appropriate PPE during the inspection and follow social distancing guidelines.

Missoula health officer updates order to allow more businesses to open

Health Department

Missoula Health Officer Ellen Leahy today issued an update to her April 24 order as part of the gradual reopening plan for Missoula County. The main updates to the order include:

  • Businesses and individuals providing grooming, beauty, body art, piercing, massage, spa and similar services to open Monday, May 11. These entities can open as long as they create a service plan that supports employee health screening,
    social distancing, face-covering use, and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing.
  • The limit on events and gatherings such as fairs, concerts, races and sporting events, and private parties outside the home was raised to 50 people. Events with 50 or fewer must maintain six-foot social distancing. This does not replace the governor’s requirement to limit groups to 10 people when distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Farmers markets may open for the sale of unprocessed agricultural products starting Saturday, May 23. The market must have a plan to support social distancing, including the flow of customers and limiting the number of people in the market at one time. Vendors must space tables six feet apart. Vendors, employees, and volunteers are required to screen for symptoms and have provisions for personal hygiene and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Schools may hold graduation, providing that they have a plan to keep families separated by six feet and can limit the total number of people to 250 based on guidance for large gatherings. The schools must provide a plan to support social distancing, personal hygiene and sanitation.

The local orders will remain in place until the governor moves to Phase Two, or the health officer rescinds or modifies them.

Gov. Bullock’s announcement on May 7 regarding the opening of gyms, fitness studios, some pools, movie theaters, and non-tactile museums are not affected by the local order.

These facilities may open Friday, May 15, providing they can follow the requirements outlined by the governor.

“We are at a different place than we were on April 24 when the original orders were issued,” said Cindy Farr, incident commander with the Missoula City-County Health Department’s COVID-19 response. “We had nine active cases. We were still getting new cases of COVID, and we were following two dozen close contacts. We are now at zero active cases and haven’t had a new case in over two weeks.”

Farr adds that while the outbreak appears to be winding down that COVID-19 is still a risk. The health department encourages community members to practice personal and community protective measures. Monitoring for symptoms, staying home when sick, washing hands, social distancing, and staying home as much as possible are still prevention measures that matter.

Additionally, the Health Board’s recommendation for wearing cloth face coverings in public spaces can decrease community spread.

“Keeping cases down at this point comes down to behavior and contact tracing. We can do the contact tracing and provide guidance to our community, but we still need the community’s help,” said Farr.

“Behavior matters. Social distancing and helping businesses and organizations follow the provisions is not only helpful for them but helpful for the community.”

For detailed descriptions of what these businesses will need to do to safely reopen, check out the health department’s guide online at missoula.co/reopeningmissoulacounty. If you have questions about how the local orders affect your business or organization, please call 406-258-4755.