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COVID-19 concerns prompt Ravalli County Sheriff's Office changes

Posted at 1:40 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 15:40:29-04

HAMILTON — Concerns over the spread of COVID-19 have prompted the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office to announce some operational changes.

Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton announced some temporary procedures will take effect at 8 a.m. on March 24 to “mitigate public and staff exposure” to COVID 19.

"The RCSO will continue to operate and provide public safety resources to the community,” Sheriff Holton said in a news release.

The following temporary changes will be made:

  • Public fingerprinting will be suspended until further notice.
  • Civil process, Concealed Weapons, Offender Registration and other paperwork will be handled on an appointment basis. Anyone wishing to make an appointment should call the RCSO at (406) 375-4060.
  • People who wish to make a non-emergent report with the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office should remain at their homes and call (406) 363-3033.
  • The main Sheriff's Lobby and Detention Lobby will be restricted to four people at a time.
  • The Jail Diversion Office will be restricted to two people at a time.
  • Twice-a-day breath tests for the 24/7 program have been suspended. Offenders ordered to the 24/7 Sobriety Program are being supervised and monitored with remote breath and CAM bracelet technology.
  • In order to facilitate and make it as convenient as possible for people to transact business with the RCSO, appointments can be made with the RCSO from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays.
  • Jail Diversion is open and staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only.
  • The Ravalli County Detention Center is open by appointment only 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Ravalli County commissioners enacted an emergency declaration over the coronavirus outbreak on March 20, stressing the board wass not ordering business closures and other "social changes".

The first confirmed COVID-19 case in the Bitterroot was reported in female in her teens on March 20.