Montana Public Radio

Steve Bullock

As COVID-19 Fuels Uncertainty, Political Ads Hit Familiar Themes

Apr 3, 2020

Tonight on Campaign Beat: Montana leaders have different takes on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. New campaign ads emphasize jobs and values. And political newcomers are likely the most challenged by the shortened campaign season.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

A box of food donations
iStock

Montana will use federal aid money to bolster residents' access to food during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to Gov. Steve Bullock.

Children play with blocks at a daycare center.
iStock

Daycare facilities are now deemed an essential business during the coronavirus outbreak in Montana.

Gov. Steve Bullock is ordering child care businesses to first serve children of parents that are deemed essential employees working in fields such as healthcare, law enforcement or in grocery stores.

Missoula's Hellgate High School
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Monday was the first day that public schools across Montana were required to have plans in place for how they will deliver online or remote education, as well as other services. MTPR’s Corin Cates-Carney spoke with reporter Aaron Bolton about classes moving forward as school buildings remain closed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Gov. Bullock Orders Self-Quarantine For People Entering Montana

Mar 30, 2020

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is ordering anyone coming into the state to self-quarantine for 14 days in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Tonight on Campaign Beat: Primary election ballots are set to be mailed in six weeks. Members of Congress arguably have less influence than governors during the growing pandemic. Montana Republicans fess up to their effort to get Greens on the ballot. And Montana's secretary of state thinks this is "the perfect time for a crisis."

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

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.

Black Coffee Roasters in Missoula was empty on March 16, 2020 after moving to takeout orders only in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
William Marcus

Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday he’s extending closures until April 10 for public schools as well as bars, dine-in restaurants, and other social gathering places, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Montana. Those closures were originally set to expire Friday. Bullock is also imposing new rules on other retail businesses.

Gubernatorial Campaigns Go Digital In Response To Public Health Concerns

Mar 20, 2020

Less than a week after Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency in Montana in preparation for a coronavirus pandemic, response to the disease is having an impact on the campaigns of Bullock’s would-be successors. Most of those campaigns have now gone digital, with Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates using social media to interact with voters and spread word of the public health emergency.

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