Face the State: Montana's response to COVID-19

Posted at 12:04 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 14:06:28-04

HELENA — MTN’s Face the State program on Sunday, March 22 featured what you need to know about the biggest story in Montana – and the world: The COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Mike Dennison hosted the program and talked to the chairman of the governor’s COVID-19 task force and the president of the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

Major General Matthew Quinn, the head of the Montana National Guard, is chairing Governor Steve Bullock’s task force on COVID-19. He outlined what state and local public agencies are doing, to attempt to slow the outbreak in Montana.

On the impact side of the outbreak – Montana Chamber of Commerce President Todd O’Hair told MTN how businesses are dealing with the fallout. He says the pandemic has arrived so quickly, that businesses don’t know yet what the best type of assistance might be.

Quinn says while government is doing what it can – the real responsibility may ultimately lie with Montana citizens.

“Listen, we need to look as citizens as how we are gathering as a people and try to decrease the amount of those gatherings or stop those gatherings. That’s the most effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19. But where that number goes, depends a lot on what we do as a state and what we do as a public,” Quinn said.

“The speed at which this has rolled into Montana and as quickly as it has escalated -- I think the business community is dealing with how to respond with what’s facing them immediately,” O’Hair said. “And it’s difficult for them to try to look ahead to see, how long is this going to be? What’s another shoe that could drop? How do we prepare ourselves and what sort of immediate assistance do we need?”

Watch the full Face the State program below.