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Bullock defends extension of stay-at-home, closure orders to slow COVID-19 spread

Posted at 3:13 PM, Apr 09, 2020

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock defended his extensions of his stay-at-home order and closures of schools and nonessential busineses at a Thursday news conference.

Bullock was joined by Dr. Greg Holzman, the state's chief medical officer, and Jim Murphy, the chief of the state's communicable disease bureau, who discussed models used by state health experts to track the COVID-19 outbreak.

They also discussed the availability of testing for coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

Earlier this week, Bullock announced he was extending by two weeks to April 24 his closure orders.

On Thursday morning, Montana reported 354 COVID-19 cases, including 52 in Yellowstone County. Six people have died and 36 have been hospitalized. In addition, 157 people have recovered from disease.

At his news conference, he issued one new directive, aimed at calming children who are frustrated by the pandemic and closures. The directive declared the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and all "magical creatures" to be essential workers during the stay-at-home order.

Watch the news conference live here: