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Ravalli County to launch effort to encourage people to meet revised COVID-19 guidelines

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Posted at 3:04 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 17:04:57-04

HAMILTON — Worried, but determined, Ravalli County leaders will use public outreach to help Bitterroot residents understand the state's latest guidelines on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like most local jurisdictions, Ravalli County is wrestling with how to advise businesses and residents about the latest state guidelines for a phased reopening of the state. The Board of Health has struggled with questions, from effective dates to the prospects for an uptick of infections of people who don't take precautions.

Ravalli County Commissioner Jeff Burrows says people have continued to question him about the uniformity of the guidelines, with staggered re-opening dates.

"And the only answer I can give them is that you drew the short straw. I'm sorry but that's all I can get,” Burrows said. “And I haven't heard anybody, everybody's guessing and speculating as to why. Why are the bars closing at 11:30? Why the restaurants aren't open Monday? Nobody can really say here's the reason why."

"Because of the controls that they have. They want them to have masks. They want them to have gloves. They want them to have all these supplies, to allow them time to get that,” commented Kaite Scholl with the Ravalli County Board of Health.

The Board of Health voted to "acknowledge and abide" by the guidelines, supporting plans by the county to beef up public education, including the use of message boards to re-enforce the message of a 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers.