Montana Public Radio


Lake County/CSKT COVID-19 Cases By Age, August 10, 2020.
Lake County Public Health

Employees of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes went back to work Monday as a stay-at-home order on the reservation was lifted. There are still restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The CSKT Tribal Council decided back in late June that the stay-at-home order would be lifted July 13, but a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout Lake County following the July 4 holiday delayed the rollback.

U.S. Senate candidates Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Steve Bullock debated via video August 8, 2020.

U.S. Senate candidates Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Steve Bullock squared off in a debate for the first time over the weekend. The debate focused on responses to the novel coronavirus. 

The two long-standing Montana figures each said Congress and the federal government should work across the political aisle during this time. But Daines and Bullock also sent a salvo of political attacks at each other in an attempt to sway voters to their side in one of this year's most closely watched elections in Montana and the country.

Griz football game at the University of Montana
flickr user MuddyRavine (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

The Big Sky Conference has postponed its football season to spring 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The conference includes Montana State University and the University of Montana.

Bullock Directs $20 Million To MUS For Coronavirus Prep

Aug 7, 2020

Montana is planning to send up to $20 million of federal coronavirus relief dollars to its public universities to support reopening efforts this fall.

State Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian said during a press call with Gov. Steve Bullock the university system will prioritize rapid testing, quarantining and contact tracing of symptomatic individuals.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Aug. 6, 2020 to include more detailed information about health and safety protocols TC Energy has required of its contracted workers, along with updated information from the Phillips County Health Department.

The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline confirmed Aug. 5 that two of its workers in northern Montana tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week.

As people take precautions to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus, senior citizen programs are under increased pressure to serve those sheltering at home.

The Crow Reservation is one of the areas most impacted by the coronavirus in Montana. The reservation has been under Stay at Home orders since March. But while COVID-19 slowed down many businesses, the local Meals on Wheels programs that address senior isolation and hunger, are working harder than ever.

Gov. Steve Bullock annonces his Coronavirus Task Force on March 3, 2020 in response to the growing number of cases reported in the United States. Bullock says the task force is a multi-agency group that will coordinate public health response.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Bradshaw Sumners watched throughout February as COVID-19 hot spots developed in major American cities, waiting to see when the coronavirus pandemic would manifest in Montana. When it finally did, life for the Livingston resident and father of two changed dramatically. His daughters, 8 and 4 years old, were suddenly home from school. The restaurant group where Sumners works maintenance shut down, thrusting him onto unemployment alongside legions of workers nationwide.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated poverty and economic inequality in Montana. Several Bozeman residents recently shared their struggles in trying to meet basic needs and navigate complicated safety nets.

During a virtual event hosted by Montana No Kid Hungry and the Human Resource Development Council, panelist Lori Lindgren says living in poverty feels like trying to catch a run away train.

“When you’re poor, you’re always behind and you’re trying to catch up,” Lindgren said.

The University of Providence in Great Falls announced on Aug. 4 the upcoming fall semester will be conducted online due to increased spread of the novel coronavirus in Montana.

Cascade County, where University of Providence is located, is one of nine hot spot counties identified by the state as potentially needing additional containment measures.

University of Providence, which enrolls 950 students, was the first private college to move to online learning in March.

Fire camp sunset on the Sunrise Fire 7/24/17

Wildland firefighters already follow a lengthy list of safety and wardrobe rules: the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has just made it a little longer.