Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Thursday afternoon signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus. While there are still no positive cases in the state, the governor says the order is necessary to prepare.
After forming a coronavirus task force last week, Bullock says he’s furthering the state’s efforts to prepare for the first cases of Covid-19 in the state by issuing an executive order declaring a state of emergency.
“By doing so, I will have the ability to further direct a coordinated response to COVID-19 and mobilize all resources necessary to take additional steps that may be necessary,” Bullock said.
[Related: Montana Coronavirus And COVID-19 News]
Bullock says the order gives him the ability to mobilize state resources, including $16 million in state funds and personnel from the National Guard. Bullock says the order also gives him the ability to order event and school closures, though he says those decisions will remain with local organizers and officials for the time being.
Earlier this week one Montana resident visiting Maryland tested positive for COVID-19.
County health departments and partners have activated local response plans and protocols to prepare to the virus.
The Montana health department reports 55 people in the state have been tested for COVID-19 in Montana. All tests returned negative results.
The governor’s coronavirus task force today launched an informational line for Montanans at 1-888-333-0461
A website has also been set up to keep the public up-to-date on the Task Force Actions at https://covid19.mt.gov/