GREAT FALLS — The City-County Health Department in Great Falls announced on Friday that there have been nineteen COVID-19 deaths in Cascade County since December 31, 2020. That brings the death toll in the county to 126.
The deaths were a man in his 60s; three women in their 70s; five men in their 70s; four women in their 80s; four men in their 80s; and two women in their 90s.
In a news release, the CCHD also addressed Governor Greg Gianforte's announcement earlier this week that he was rescinding former Governor Bullock’s Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.
Gianforte issued a new directive implementing his Executive Order 2-2021, which lifts some restrictions but leaves the mask order in place. However, the directive states that “in the interest of uniformity of laws and to prevent the spread of disease, all inconsistent local government health ordinances or orders are preempted by this Directive, but only to the extent they are less restrictive.” In other words, the CCHD said, Gianforte’s directive does not supersede local health orders.
Because Cascade County has continued to sustain high numbers of new COVID-19 cases, the Board of Health elected at a January 6, 2021 regular meeting to keep the November 20, 2020 Order of Health Officer in place until the case rate of new COVID-19 infections is at or below 25 per 100,000 for four consecutive weeks. As of January 13, 2021, the case rate in Cascade in Cascade County is 44 per 100,000.
The restrictions that remain in place in Cascade County include:
- Restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, casinos, gyms, movie theatres, etc. must close no later than 10:00 PM
- All businesses must require social distancing & face coverings, and must operate at 50% capacity or less
- All group gatherings, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 25 individuals where social distancing is not possible, or 50 individuals where social distancing is practiced (there are some exceptions to this rule, such as houses of worship and local school districts/school activities)
The Board of Health will meet on Wednesday, January 20, at 9:00 a.m. to review these restrictions now that Gianforte has released his new directive. Details, agenda, and the link to register for this Zoom meeting can be found by clicking here.