Letter from Beaverhead County Public Health:
March 24, 2020
Re: Clarity for businesses regarding closures
Public Health has been receiving many calls for more guidance on the Governor’s Directive for business closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the confusion when determining which businesses should close. It is important to understand that the reason we are either recommending, or whether it’s a Directive… is to protect our community. This is to reduce the risk of exposure to your friends, your family, the elderly, and the young. Total shut down of cities in this country are happening because communities are not taking this situation seriously. We MUST be diligent and follow the guidelines. If you are worried about your business now, it will be much worse later as stricter and stricter actions are mandated because we let our guard down. There are 12 new positive cases reported in Montana this morning and these are now occurring from community spread which means people contracted the disease from unknown COVID-19 cases in the community. Positive cases continue to grow in counties around Beaverhead County. It is our responsibility to try to prevent or at least slow COVID-19 by limiting people from suspect areas into our county.
If your business cannot do the following actions, then they should shut down until March 27th at which time the situation will be reassessed. However, more than likely, these current measures will continue if we continue to see the steep increase in positive cases.
If you cannot provide services 6 feet from your client:
· includes hair, skin, nails, tattoo salons and massage services, however, this is not an exhaustive list
· cannot provide lodging/meals/transport, etc. with the recommended social distancing
2. If you cannot sanitize your equipment, vehicles, boat between clients.
Everyone should practice the following:
Social distancing of 6 feet, even when outside.
No groups of 10 people or larger.
Elderly and immunocompromised should stay home whenever possible.
Increased handwashing with soap and water and use of hand sanitizer if needed.
Increased sanitation of hard surfaces with disinfectants. You can make your own solution with 1 tbsp. of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Cut small clean cloths into the solution. Surfaces to pay attention to are:
· keyboards, mouse, cellphone, remote control, doorknobs, light switches, steering wheels, cane handles, etc.
6. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
7. If you are sick, stay home, isolate from healthy people.
The Beaverhead County Health Officer has the authority to shut down businesses to protect the public from imminent threats per Section 50-2-118 of the Montana Code Annotated. The Health Officer’s authority supersedes state licensing boards. COVID-19 Pandemic is currently the biggest threat to our country and our world. We implore all our citizens to please follow these actions to keep our community as safe as possible.
Sue Hansen RN
Megan Evans MD