Recent changes to local health rules

Mask rule extended a couple more friends can sit at the table

There is no stagnancy during a pandemic. As the virus has altered, so have local health rules. The Gallatin City-County Board of Health, with the job of keeping the populace safe, has made a number of changes to local emergency rules. Those rules have been established to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Gallatin County.

The board elected to extend the local face covering rule until May 27, unless otherwise amended or rescinded, with the intention of meeting in early May to discuss.

The local Phase Two reopening rule was also amended to allow eight people (in lieu of six people from the previous rule) per table at establishments such as restaurants, coffee shops, bars and bowling alleys, and allowing three feet between groups at bars.

The isolation and quarantine rule as well as the visitation rule for long-term care facilities have been rescinded. Contact tracing will continue to try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The health department will continue working with long term care facilities to enforce a health officer order requiring facilities to maintain staffing, personal protective equipment, and screening of visitors and staff in order to reduce transmission. Gallatin City-County Health Officer Matt Kelley said the move of rescinding the orders will allow more flexibility for the department as guidance changes from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Citizens are urged to continue to avoid crowds, wear face coverings in public, wash hands frequently, stay home when ill and get vaccinated when possible.

There has been a recent push in Big Sky as the Pfizer vaccine was made available. A vaccination clinic just took place at the Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center. Residents were notified via email or phone call if they had received care at the medical center. Bozeman Health also asked for assistance from the Big Sky Community Food Bank (BSCFB) in notifying people of vaccine availability. BSCFB Operations Manager Sarah Gaither Bivens said she helped sign-up over 30 people for vaccinations in a single day.

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