Gov. Gianforte implementing new COVID-19 directive

Governor Gianforte at the podium while announcing new public health order rollbacks.

HELENA – Today, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced a new COVID-19 directive to replace the previous one. 

As of 5am Friday morning, businesses across Montana no longer have to close by 10pm or limit themselves to 50 percent capacity, unless the guidelines at the county level say otherwise.

"Today, I am issuing a new directive that removes or replaces the cumbersome layers of existing ones,” Gianforte said.

He is staying true to the promise he kept on the campaign trail, as he says he favors personal responsibility over the statewide mandates most of the country has adopted to combat COVID-19.

“The goal here was to peel these layers of directives back so we have very common-sense rules that any business owner can understand and implement," Gianforte added.

Now it is important to note that the statewide mask mandate does remain in effect, although Gianforte does plan to repeal it once he has legislation that prevents businesses and healthcare providers from facing liability. The other requirement is improved vaccine distribution, which Gen. Quinn, the executive director of the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, spoke about earlier today.

"This week, we expect about 6,400 doses of Moderna coming in. Next week, we expect to see about 13,500 Moderna and Pfizer doses come in,” Quinn said.

Gen. Quinn is also tracking 20-thousand second doses that will be coming into the state, from both Moderna and Pfizer.

There is one other important detail to note from the new directive. When it comes to public gatherings, there is no longer a specific number at the statewide level for how big a public gathering can be. There is still guidance at the county level on that front, which Gianforte is leaving up to local health officials to determine.

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