Whitefish Mayor orders local emergency

City of Whitefish
Posted at 2:38 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 18:19:16-04

WHITEFISH — Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld today declared a state of emergency for the city of Whitefish related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thursday.

“This emergency ordinance is designed to commit all available resources and take all possible action to combat and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Mayor Muhlfeld stated in a news release. “While this is definitely not a time to panic, it is a time to take bold action because what we do immediately will have long term implications."

The emergency order allows the city to activate the response and recovery aspects of any and all local disaster and emergency plans which includes mobilizing all available city resources.

City officials are also asking potential visitors to Whitefish to delay any trips and reschedule their visit in the coming months when the risks to the community have passed.

"I am empathic to everyone’s unique state of affairs, knowing many families and businesses are under enormous stress during this rapidly changing situation,” said Muhlfeld. “The city will take all steps possible to assist our families and local businesses during this crisis."

No committee or board meetings scheduled through April 30, 2020 and Whitefish City Hall offices are closed to the public through March 27, 2020. The city will continue to offer our full range of services by phone and email weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The city overs remote payment options by phone, by mail, or online and there is a payment drop box located off of Baker Avenue which will be checked frequently throughout the day.

Additionally, there will be a drop-off and pick up location for building plans, applications, and other documents for various departments in the Whitefish City Hall vestibule.

Important contact information:

  • General inquiries or to make payment: 406-863-2400
  • Planning & Building Department: 406-863-2410
  • Public Works Department: 406-863-2460
  • Utility Billing Department: 406-863-2456
  • Parks & Recreation Department: 406-863-2470

The Flathead City-County Health Department issued an order on Thursday that closes down many establishments, including bars, casinos, restaurants, gyms and theaters.
The order -- which runs until March 30 at 8 a.m. -- The order does the following:

  • All bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries, restaurants, casinos, gyms, fitness facilities, athletic centers, workout studios, ice skating rinks, indoor climbing venues, indoor sporting arenas, cinemas, and theatres shall be closed to the public.
  • Notwithstanding the foregoing, restaurants, grills, or kitchens may operate on a limited basis by providing service via take-out, drive-through, and/or delivery. Restaurants that maintain dining room facilities in addition to take-out, drive-through and/or delivery operations must close their dining room operations.
  • Breweries, distilleries, and wineries may continue to make alcoholic beverages, but may not operate tasting rooms, or otherwise serve non-sealed alcoholic beverages to the public.
  • Food service establishments which provide the primary meal sources for a population that lives or works within its buildings, such as cafeterias in hospital and care facilities may remain open to the population such an establishment serves.
  • The Order does not apply to grocery stores or deli counters within grocery stores, or to convenience stores. Convenience stores with combined restaurants shall close their dining room facilities.
  • The Order does not apply to licensed physical therapy practices, provided that such practices exercise appropriate social distancing.

You can watch Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld give his speech below: