Health Orders & Health Officer Orders

A number of emergency health orders and rules have been put in place to mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19. You can find a list of active orders below.

Active emergency health rules:

On April 5, 2021, the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted to extended the current Emergency Rule for the use of cloth face coverings for the prevention of COVID-19. This current rule is in effect until May 27, 2021. The board intends to meet again in early May to consider this rule again.

The order requires the use of face coverings by people within indoor public settings in Gallatin County to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Exceptions include:

  • Children under the age of 5
  • While seated eating or drinking
  • While engaging in strenuous physical exercise
  • People with medical conditions that would be worsened by face coverings
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Seating Accommodations for Restaurant/Bar: On April 5, 2021, the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted to extend the current public health rule governing capacity and operations for certain businesses. They also amended this rule to allow 8 people per table at establishments such as restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and bowling alleys, and allowing a distance of 3 feet between groups at a bar. This rule is in effect until May 10, 2021.

Business Hours: On February 4, 2021 the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted to extend the current public health rule governing capacity and operations for certain businesses, they also amended this rule to allow for these businesses to stay open until 2:00 a.m.

Groups and Gatherings Capacity: On March 12, 2021 the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted to amend and extend the current public health rule governing events and gatherings size limits. The following size limits have been increase, effective immediately:

  • Indoor events and group gatherings
    • Limited to no more than 150 people. The number of people at an event includes attendees, staff, volunteers, and others on site at any one time.
    • For indoor events with 50-150 people the following measures must be taken
      • All participants must be seated at tables at least six feet apart with no more than six people per table. This rule does not apply to anyone 18 years or younger who are present with their parent or guardian.
      • The tables must be placed in a way that allows physical distancing.
      • Any retail-like events, such as trade shows, must ensure physical layout that maintains social distancing.
    • Shall not exceed 50% capacity of the space.
  • Outdoor events and group gatherings
    • Limited to no more than 250 people. The number of people at an event includes attendees, staff, volunteers, and others on site at any one time.
    • For outdoor events and group gatherings with 50-250 people:
      • All participants must be able to maintain strict physical distancing of at least six feet.
      • Any retail-like events, such as trade shows, must ensure physical layout that maintains social distancing.
    • For events with more than 50 people, event sponsors must at all times avoid unstructured events or activities (such as dance floors) that allow for unpredictable or unmanageable social interactions.
    • Event organizers or hosts of more than 150 people that do not meet an exclusion below must submit an operations plan that outlines protective measures and environmental controls.
      The following are excluded:

      • Houses of worship
      • K-12 schools
      • Higher education
      • Organized youth events such as after-school programs or youth athletics
      • Retail businesses
      • Government offices and operations
      • Gyms, fitness studios, and indoor recreation facilities
      • Construction sites
      • Food service establishments that serve a population that depends on the establishment as one of its sole food sources (such as a cafeteria)
      • Museums, sit-down theaters, and outdoor competition venues with established seating
    • Please be sure to read the public health rule in its entirety for more details. 

Other protective measures that remain in effect are:

  • All events and group gatherings must strictly comply with face covering requirements.
  • Maintain 6 feet social distancing between patrons – unless seated at the bar, then three feet must be maintained.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
  • Eliminate shared or community items.
  • Operate at 50% capacity.
  • Limit tables to 8 people or less – this limit does not apply to persons younger than 18 years of age who are present with their parent or guardian.
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In-active emergency health rules:

These public health rules are no longer active.

On April 5, 2021, the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted to repeal the Emergency Rule for Quarantine and Isolation.

The Board decided it no longer needed this emergency rule, but that won’t change anything about the way we do contact tracing or our responsibility to get cases isolated and close contacts in quarantine when appropriate.  This emergency rule was only one tool in our contact tracing effort.  State law, administrative rule, and Board of Health policy require us to follow CDC guidance to isolate known cases of COVID-19 and place in quarantine close contacts who are at higher risk to spread the disease due to their exposures. That work will continue, and a health officer order remains in effect to assist us in this effort. The Board fully supports these continued actions in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The order required people who had tested positive for COVID-19 to stay at home, and for people who had been identified by the Health Department as close contacts to a known case to also stay at home.

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On April 5, 2021 the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted to repeal the emergency rule that allows for limited visitation at nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and senior and assisted living facilities in Gallatin County.

GCCHD will continue working with long term care facilities to enforce a health officer order requiring facilities to maintain staffing, personal protective equipment, and screening of visitors and staff in order to reduce transmission. 

The rule allowed for some visitation consistent with safeguards required or recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Those safeguards included requirements for surveillance testing, symptom monitoring, adequate staffing and an absence of known COVID-19 cases in the facility for at least 14 days.

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On May 22, 2020, Gallatin City-County Health Officer Matt Kelley signed a Health Officer Order establishing non-congregant sheltering in West Yellowstone for the duration of the public health emergency for COVID-19 to quarantine and isolate individuals.

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The Gallatin City-County Board of Health adopted an emergency rule on May 1, 2020 (and amended it on May 13, 2020) that outlines the local approach to reopening non-essential businesses in Gallatin County.

The rule aligns with Governor Bullock’s April 22 directive and his additional May 8 directive adding gyms, movie theaters, and museums. These directives provide guidance and requirements for the first phase of Montana’s phased reopening plan.

Phase 1 expired on May 31, 2020.

Links:

EHR and HO Archive

More Resources:

COVID-19

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COVID-19 printable resources
Governor Bullock's Guidelines and Considerations for Reopening Businesses and Schools