Montana Public Radio


While not explicitly stated in Montana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the state health department says pregnancy is a major medical condition that may qualify someone for a shot under the current phase.

Elle Ruis, a seventh grade math teacher at Kalispell Middle School, says she has wanted to get a COVID-19 vaccine as they’ve become more available.

“I just feel like in my job, I’m really exposed constantly to tons and tons of people and at a high risk of catching COVID,” Ruis says.

The Montana House Thursday offered its support to a bill that would create a commission to study whether to permanently revoke regulations suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.

Yellowstone County’s health officer says vaccine rollout is progressing in the state’s most populous region.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Yellowstone County health officer John Felton said residents in Phase 1B who received their first vaccine doses at the centralized vaccination clinic in Billings starting mid-February are this week beginning to receive their second doses.

The Gallatin City-County Board of Health has relaxed a COVID-19 related health rule limiting event sizes as the spread of the virus has slowed down.

During a special meeting Friday, the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted to expand group gatherings from the current limit of 25 people to a maximum of 150 for indoor events and up to 250 for outdoor events if certain physical distancing measures can be maintained.

Public Schools To Receive COVID-19 Relief Dollars

Mar 12, 2021

Montana K through 12 public schools will receive an estimated $382 million in federal funds from the most recent COVID-19 relief package, according to an estimate from the Montana Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning.

Additionally, the Montana Office of Public Instruction says non-public schools in Montana will receive $12.8 million from that same relief bill.

Pres. Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, which appropriates about $122.7 billion nationally to help schools reopen.

Eddie Cotton Jr. at the Montana Folk Festival, July 12, 2019.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Folk Festival in Butte has been postponed for the second year in a row due to COVID-19. Festival Director George Everett said that although it is hard to predict the future, summer music festivals in July don’t seem to be in the cards for 2021.

Capitol Talk: COVID Windfall, 'Religious Freedom' And Fossil Fuels

Mar 12, 2021

Montana Republican leaders think the COVID relief signed into law this week is a mistake. The Legislature now has to figure out how to spend the COVID windfall. Montana's attorney general joins a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. It looks like Gov. Gianforte will sign a "religious freedom" bill if it reaches his desk. And Sen. Daines says the Interior Secretary nominee will harm Montana's "way of life" if she's confirmed.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

U.S. Capitol

Montana’s congressional delegation split directly along party lines over passage of the $1.9-trillion COVID relief bill.

Blackfeet tribal leaders announced Wednesday that the Blackfeet Indian Reservation will move into phase three of its reopening plan — exactly one year after they declared an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Missoula County Mulit-family Apartment Unit Costs 2020
SterlingCRE Advisors

A commercial real estate firm in Missoula has released a new analysis saying population, income and rent prices all rose in the county in 2020. Analysts say that it will take time for the housing market to catch up.