Montana Public Radio

Steve Bullock

Sign saying "Welcome to Blackfeet Indian Country."
Will Marlow (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Blackfeet Indian Reservation is now under a mandatory 14-day stay-at-home order after health officials reported the reservation’s first COVID-19 cases. Blackfeet and Glacier County officials identified nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents over the weekend.

An outside group is running ads trying to influence voters in Montana's U.S. Senate race — a battle between Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock that could be key in determining which party holds the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Some university faculty in Montana want the option of requiring students to wear face coverings when the fall semester starts.

On June 24, assisted living businesses and workers asked the Montana Legislature to increase payments for day-to-day services for seniors and people with disabilities.
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Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive Thursday lifting visitor restrictions at assisted living facilities and nursing homes — under strict guidelines.

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

On Wednesday, Gov. Steve Bullock said there is no doubt Montana has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases since moving into Phase 2 of its economic reopening plan in early June.

Montana has reported 766 total known cases. Nearly one-third of those were reported since June 1st. During Wednesday’s press conference, Bullock said 136 people have tested positive for the disease over the past week.

 


This story is part of our series that looks at lasting ways Montana is adapting during the pandemic. It’s funded in part by the Solutions Journalism Network.

Criminal justice system reformers for years have sought to reduce county jail and state prison populations in Montana. The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the process, mostly at county detention facilities across the state.

Gubernatorial candidates Greg Gianforte and Mike Cooney each raised over $200,000 in the most recent 30-day campaign finance reporting period.

Doctor with a swab test
iStock

As Montana reopens its economy to tourists, Gov. Steve Bullock said during a press conference Wednesday that the state will begin alerting the public about non-residents who test positive for COVID-19 while in Montana.

A vape device with flavor liquids.
iStock

The state health department wants to resurrect a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales in Montana. A temporary ban enacted late last year expired several months ago, and now the agency wants to permanently ban the sale of almost all flavored e-cigarette products.

Some Montana vape retailers are vowing to push back hard on the idea, leading to what may be the next legal battleground between those retailers and the administration of Gov. Steve Bullock.

Gov. Steve Bullock talks about Medicaid expansion at a press conference on Jan. 8, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar / UM Legislative News Service

In May, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid expansion in Montana grew by 1,700. It’s the first time in over a year that enrollment numbers in the health coverage program for low income adults increased over the previous month.

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