Montana Public Radio

Corin Cates-Carney

Capitol Reporter

Corin Cates-Carney is MTPR's news director. He was formerly the Capitol Bureau reporter, and before that, MTPR's Flathead area reporter.

Corin has worked for NPR, and is a UM Journalism School Graduate.

Contact Corin Cates-Carney:
Email: corin.cates-carney@mtpr.org
Mobile: 253-495-5193
Office:  406-243-4075

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Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s stay at home directive goes into effect at midnight through April 10.

County attorneys are to enforce the directive that prohibits Montanans from leaving their homes, with exceptions for essential trips to access food, medical care, low-risk recreation and some exempted work.

Montana Free Press, adapted from CDC

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is ordering the state’s roughly 1 million residents to stay at home, with some exceptions like getting supplies or groceries, seeking medical care or going on a walk. It’s the state’s latest step to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The order starts Saturday March 28 and lasts two weeks until April 10th.

When Montanans went to the state’s unemployment website to file a claim on March 20, 2020 they were greeted with this message: "Unemployment Registration is currently experiencing high user load and may be slow, unresponsive, or down."
Screen capture: montanaworks.gov March 20, 2020, 6:35 p.m.

More than 17,000 new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed in Montana since new regulations took effect last week that expand eligibility to workers impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

An average of 2,100 people a day in the state filed for unemployment from March 17 through March 24.

Rep. Nancy Ballance, R-HD 87.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Montana state lawmakers say the state government is flush with reserve cash as the COVID-19 pandemic creates economic uncertainty around the world. Analysts with the Montana Legislative Fiscal Division report the state’s level of cash reserves, currently sitting at $464 million, is relatively high compared to most years in the past.

When Montanans went to the state’s unemployment website to file a claim on March 20, 2020 they were greeted with this message: "Unemployment Registration is currently experiencing high user load and may be slow, unresponsive, or down."
Screen capture: montanaworks.gov March 20, 2020, 6:35 p.m.

When Montanans go to the state’s unemployment website to file a claim they’re greeted with this message: "Unemployment Registration is currently experiencing high user load and may be slow, unresponsive, or down."

More than 2,800 people in Montana signed up for unemployment Wednesday following changes to regulations that allow some workers impacted by the novel coronavirus to use the social benefit.

The Montana state health department is closing some public services offices Friday to limit face to-face interaction amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Applications for safety-net services like SNAP food assistance, TANF cash assistance and health care coverage can be done online, phone, fax or mail.

Doctor with a swab test
iStock

As of this update, the Montana state lab has tested over 500 people in Montana for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Ten of those tests have come back positive. Montana Public Radio’s Corin Cates-Carney spoke with Montana’s State Medical Officer Gregory Holzman earlier Wednesday to learn how testing is happening, who's getting tested and what to expect moving forward.

The front entrance of Stevensville High School, which was built in 1958 and has had no renovations since the 1970s.
Stevensville Public Schools

Even as Montana's public K-12 schools sit closed over coronavirus concerns, work on the school system continues. Newly released data from the state of Montana provides a picture of just how much it costs to educate the state's students.

Released this week, the state's "report card" shows it cost an average of $10,474.64 to educate each student in the public school system last year. The actual cost varies depending on districts or schools.

iStock

Montana driver’s licenses expiring in March, April and May of this year will have an extended 90-day renewal deadline. Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday he would sign an executive order allowing for the extension.

Find the latest coronavirus news here: Montana Coronavirus And COVID-19 News

The four people in Montana diagnosed with the COVID-19 illness caused by the novel coronavirus appear to have contracted it while outside of the state, according to state officials.

Gov. Steve Bullock held a press conference Saturday afternoon after announcing the first cases of the COVID-19 illness in Montana the night before. He also announced amendments to the state’s emergency declaration, extended lab testing and previewed new policies for state employees working under the COVID-19 threat.

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