MISSOULA — New COVID-19 restrictions will go into effect in Missoula County at 8 a.m. on Thursday with health officials looking to lower Missoula's case count.
Businesses that include retail, bars, and restaurants will be limited to 50% capacity, events and gatherings will be reduced to 25 people, there will be no alcohol service allowed after 10 p.m. and a voluntary stay at home order will go into effect.
The new rules are not the first transition restaurants have had to make since the pandemic began and now owners and managers are having to reassess how they operate in the weeks and possibly months to come.
The general manager of the Montana Club on Brooks Street, Matt Parkey, says the adjustment won’t be as big for them, as their layout has kept them operating at 50% capacity since reopening again in May. He says their biggest adjustment will be in maneuvering large groups, however.
"Occasionally, we’ll have a 12 or 14 people come in. What we have to do there is we have to split them up. You know, we’ll do a table of eight and a table of six and have them distance between each other,” Parkey said. “So, we’ll be making sure that we’re abiding by all the regulations as we can you know, making sure that people stay safe."
Parkey told MTN News their carry-out business has picked up dramatically since the pandemic began and he expects that will only increase with the new restrictions.