local businesses

BILLINGS, Mont. - With County Health Officer John Felton announcing new regulations on Monday, many people are wondering what's being done to establishments who have ignored the guidelines.

Community leaders met Thursday and discussed how they're implementing these rules.

"When it comes to the Governors order and John Feltons orders, the only way to enforce those is through the County Attorney's Office," said Gina Dahl, Assistant City Attorney.

Dahl, says they deal with hundreds of complaints a day and with their limited staff they do investigate each case.

"We are calling up those businesses and saying, hey, this is what we got in, you may want to do something to address it," said Dahl. 

If an establishment continues ignoring regulations, it is not as simple as handing out a citation ticket. Instead the business is charged with a crime and taken to court, which according to Dahl, could take months.

"If we had a violation from July, more likely than not, that violation would not yet be to court," said Dahl.

Dahl say's people may not see action taken immediately, but ensures the public that they are in the process of criminally prosecuting several businesses.

The public are encouraged to continue reporting any violations they witness.

"We do want to make sure that we are aware if their are issues, because it's just not possible to be everywhere at once, that said, when there are issues, they are being dealt with, I can assure you that," said Dahl.

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