Montana Public Radio

Gallatin County

Park and Gallatin County health officials are asking Yellowstone National Park to close immediately to prevent visitors from potentially spreading COVID-19 in gateway communities and overwhelming local health care facilities. 

On the heels of a third COVID-19 illness case announced out of Gallatin County Wednesday, the County and the city of Bozeman have declared states of emergency. Existing closures of bars and eateries and now gyms, theaters and other indoor recreational facilities, have been extended into April as part of an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Montana COVID-19 Cases by County, 03-13-20
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

03/14/20 6:15 p.m.

The COVID-19 situation in Montana is changing quickly. Find the latest information here: Montana Coronavirus And COVID-19 News

Coronavirus blood test
iStock

Updated 03/13/20, 7:30 p.m
This post was updated with the info that four presumptively positive cases were confirmed in Montana Friday evening.

Montana county public health officials Friday said testing for the COVID-19 disease remains limited and there is no at-will testing for people concerned they’ve contracted the illness. Friday evening, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock confirmed four presumptively positive cases COVID-19 in the state.

Gallatin County commissioners voted unanimously on Feb. 4 to offer up to six weeks of paid parental leave to county employees. It’s the second Montana county to offer the benefit.

Voters in Clinton, Montana, cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch / UM School of Journalism

Starting in 2020, Lewis and Clark County will no longer have partisan elections for leadership offices, an idea that voters from a different southwest Montana county are opposed to.

The same week Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula announced it would close its doors Friday, the same organizations in Gallatin and Park and Sweet Grass Counties announced they had received a quarter-million-dollar grant to address youth suicide.

Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018
U.S. Census Bureau

New population numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday show that Gallatin County’s population has grown 25 percent since the 2010 census.

That’s far ahead of Madison County which had the next highest growth rate at 14 percent.

Housing costs in Montana relative to the U.S. and other Western states.
BBER analysis of 2016 American Community Survey (1-year). / http://www.bber.umt.edu/pubs/seminars/2018/EconRpt2018.pdf

Housing prices in Montana continue to rise, but how affordable housing looks depends a lot on where you stand. Economists from the University of Montana are focusing on affordable housing in their annual series of economic outlook seminars. The first was in Helena Tuesday, nine more are scheduled across the state between now and mid-March.

Gallatin County election officials say long lines and delays in ballot delivery are putting a wrench in plans to count ballots this evening. At around 9:45 Tuesday night, Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder Charlotte Mills talked with Montana Public Radio’s Nick Mott about some of the challenges they’re facing.

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