COVID-19 restrictions remain in place in Cascade County; health board meets again Jan. 20 to review restrictions; 19 more COVID-19 deaths in county
Cascade County is maintaining COVID-19 restrictions that require 10 p.m. closures and 50 percent occupancy for several types of establishments.
Those restrictions were put in place in the Nov. 20 local health order and reaffirmed by the local Board of Health during their Jan. 6 meeting.
The local restrictions that remain in place, according to the Cascade County City-County Health Department, include:
- Restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, casinos, gyms, movie theatres, etc. must close no later than 10 p.m.
- All businesses must require social distancing and face coverings, and must operate at 50 percent capacity or less
- All group gatherings, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 25 individuals where social distancing is not possible, or 50 individuals where social distancing is practiced (there are some exceptions to this rule, such as houses of worship and local school districts/school activities)
Earlier this week, Gov. Greg Gianforte issued a new directive, that went into effect Jan. 15, that lifts some restrictions but keeps the mask order in place.
Gianforte’s directive states that, “in the interest of uniformity of laws and to prevent the spread of disease, all inconsistent local government health ordinances or orders are preempted by this directive, but only to the extent they are less restrictive,” meaning the governor’s directive does not supersede local health orders, according to CCHD.
Cascade County’s order is in effect until the state emergency declaration ends, or the county’s case rate of new infections is at or below 25 per 100,000 for four consecutive weeks.
As of Jan. 13, the county’s case rate is 44 per 100,000.
The positivity rate for the county is currently 11.5 percent, according to CCHD.
The county hit the 25 per 100,000 rate for one week at the end of December, but the rate has climbed upward since.
On Jan. 15, the county added 53 new cases, bringing the total to 7,131 and of those, 585 are currently active, according to the state map.
On Jan. 15, CCHD announced that there had been 19 COVID-19 related deaths of county residents since Dec. 31, bringing the county total to 126.
These individuals were:
- 1 male in his 60s
- 3 females in their 70s
- 5 males in their 70s
- 4 females in their 80s
- 4 males in their 80s
- 2 females in their 90s
The county health board is holding a special meeting at 9 a.m. Jan. 20 to review the restrictions now that Gianforte has issued a new directive. Meeting information is available on the county website here.
Carey Ann Haight, chief of the civil division of the Cascade County Attorney’s Office, told the health board earlier this month that because both the health officer and health board had adopted the regulations, the county had civil and criminal enforcement options.
Beginning Jan. 18, CCHD and healthcare providers will begin releasing details about the Phase 1b vaccination plan in Cascade County.