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Flathead businesses urged to be "proactive" in preventing coronavirus

Flathead County health officials detail whooping cough cases
Posted at 10:49 AM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 12:49:20-04

KALISPELL — Several Montana counties announced Monday that bars, restaurants, and casinos must close amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

While no ban has been issued in Northwest Montana, local officials are urging businesses to be proactive in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Flathead County Commissioners and the Flathead City-County Board of Health are urging all businesses -- including restaurants, bars, and casinos -- to begin immediate preparations for alternate ways of performing day-to-day activities.

“While there are still no confirmed cases in Flathead County, we recognize that across the nation and Montana bold steps will need to be implemented to protect the health of the public,” Flathead City-County Board of Health Chair Tamalee St. James Robinson said.

“There may be no warning for the implementation of control measures and so it is vital that every business begin planning and implementing alternate ways of doing business immediately.”

“Flathead County has begun this work through the closure of congregate meals at the Agency on Aging, the cancellation of events at the Fairgrounds and the move to phone services instead of walk-in services at Environmental Health,” County Administrator Mike Pence said in a news release. “We urge other businesses to take similar steps.”

More information is available on the Flathead City-County Health Department webpage or by calling FCCHD at (406) 751-8188.

The following options should be considered by businesses to ensure social distancing:

  • Close any areas where large groups could congregate or will be in close vicinity to each other (e.g. meeting rooms and dining rooms)
  • Move to alternate ways of providing food services such as take-out, delivery, drive-thru
  • Alter walk-in and face to face services to be provided by phone
  • Move meetings to be done virtually
  • Allow employees to work remotely
  • Reconstruct offices to distance employees
  • Encourage employees not to come in if they are ill
  • Look into online services such as banking, local livestream workouts, local online shopping