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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Gov. Orders National Guard To Screen Travelers At Montana Airports, Train Stations

Missoula International Airport.
Courtesy AlaskaAir
Missoula International Airport.

The Montana National Guard is activating 73 soldiers and airmen to screen people coming into the state for signs of illness from the novel coronavirus.

Under orders from Gov. Steve Bullock, national guard troops will be stationed at 17 train stations and airports in 11 cities starting Friday, Bullock says.

"So, an airplane will unload, they will temperature-check everyone coming off of the plane, give them some information about the request — or the directive — of a mandatory self-quarantine."

Bullock said at a press conference Tuesday that if people are registering a fever, the National Guard will connect them with a medical provider by phone or video chat and share that information with local public health officials.

Bullock says he hasn’t given the National Guard the authority to make arrests.

Bullock is ordering travelers coming into the state to self-quarantine for two weeks when they arrive.

National Guardsmen and women will be staged at airports in Bozeman, Billings, Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls and Butte; along with train stations in Whitefish, Havre, Shelby and Wolf Point. A National Guard liaison officer will also be stationed at each location to work with local public health, disaster and emergency services, and facility officials.

The governor’s order runs through April 10, but may be extended.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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