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

Bullock Urges Caution As Montana's COVID-19 Restrictions Are Phased-Out

A social-distancing sign at a grocery story.
William Marcus
Montana Public Radio

Montana will start lifting its stay-at-home order Sunday. This comes nearly a month after the restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

More than 440 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 illness have been reported in Montana, with 325 people now recovered from the virus. 14 people have died from the illness and 12 are currently hospitalized.

Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday afternoon that entering a phased reopening of the state does not mean everything is back to normal.

"As we head into the weekend and the beginning of phase one, I’d like to reiterate how important it is that Montanans go to great lengths to protect themselves and one another in these coming weeks."

Phase one means that starting Sunday the stay-at-home order is lifted for individuals. Groups of 10 people are still discouraged. Continued social distancing and frequent hand washing are still encouraged.

Retail businesses can open Monday, although with health checks for workers and guidance on keeping space between customers.

Bars and restaurants can reopen May 4, under new guidelines. Schools can reopen May 7.

Vulnerable individuals are still encouraged by public health officials to follow stay at home guidance.

Local governments can still adopt more stringent rules at their discretion. Missoula County’s top health officer issued Missoula’s own stricter reopening order Friday, impacting group gatherings and some business openings.

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