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COVID-19 total over 200 statewide, 76 in Gallatin County


A shelter in place order has many Montana residents working from home.

As of Wednesday morning, there were a total of 208 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montana, with 76 of the positive tests in Gallatin County.

There have currently been 4,918 tests completed statewide, 14 hospitalizations, and five deaths related to COVID-19.

The Three Forks School District announced Sunday a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19. According to the Gallatin County Health Department, the timing of the School District's transition to remote services on March 16, 2020, means that the District's staff and students were not in contact with the employee during the period of possible exposure. The staff member last worked in person-to-person contact with students and staff of Three Forks School District on Friday, March 13, 14 days prior to the staff member's diagnosis. The staff member was in the school building to retrieve educational materials on March 20, 2020, but did not interact with any students or staff during this brief visit. Since March 16, 2020, the staff member has delivered services to students exclusively using remote delivery. The staff member has notified the students enrolled in these off-site courses of the diagnosis. The School District is working to ensure those students continue to receive education services during any period of the diagnosed staff member's absence from duty.

If any staff or students are at risk of exposure, the Gallatin County Health Department will be in contact with that person to determine a safe and appropriate course of action. At this point, based on the timeline, the Gallatin County Health Department has no such plans. It is still recommended that any person who feels sick or ill, seek out their medical provider for specific instructions. The School District is in contact with the Health Department and reviewing the Centers for Disease Control guidance to complete cleaning the school and other related facilities. School officials will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information if and when it becomes available.

Last week, Governor Steve Bullock issued a directive to all Montanans requiring them to stay at home starting Saturday, March 28. That means staying at home as much as possible except for essential activities.

Those essential activities include things like movement necessary for health and safety, seeking medical care or picking up prescriptions, and when necessary, going to the grocery store for food or supplies. The public can also go to work if their job is considered an essential business or operation, and they can care for others who cannot otherwise complete essential tasks on their own. The governor's order also allows the public to go outside to get exercise and fresh air, just so long as they are strictly maintaining physical distance from people with whom they do not live.

"All over our county and our state, our health care providers and emergency responders are sacrificing to serve us all," said Matt Kelley, Health Officer for the Gallatin City-County Health Department. "My request to all of you is to think about those men and women going to work every day sacrificing for us. Please, make this sacrifice for them so we can slow the spread of this virus and buy time for those working so hard around the clock."

The Gallatin City-County Health Department Call Center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions about COVID-19. Reach the Call Center by phone at 406-548-0123 or email at [email protected]

In a response to the shelter in place order from Governor Steve Bullock, Three Forks Mayor Sean Gifford is asking local residents to not use public playground equipment, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.

Signs were placed in the parks by city staff Monday.

"The reality is I cannot build fences around the parks nor have someone there 24 hours a day making sure people don't gather in groups. We all have 'skin in the game', we are in this together. People need to have personal responsibility and understand your actions affect others. No one is alone in this we all have a heavy burden to bear," Gifford said.

Organizers of the annual Three Forks High School Rodeo announced earlier this week the event scheduled for late April had been canceled.

Governor Bullock on Monday directed that travelers arriving from another state or country to Montana for non-work-related purposes undergo a 14-day self-quarantine. The Directive follows the governor's prior travel advisory and last week's Stay at Home Directive.

"While we love our visitors, we would ask that you not come visit while Montanans are watching out for one another by staying at home," said Governor Bullock. "This is important not only to protect our health care system but also to protect against the spread of COVID-19."

"As of today, travel from another state or country is the most commonly known source of COVID-19 infections in Montana. I am asking anyone who is in Montana and has recently traveled from another state or country to do the right thing and self-quarantine for 14 days," continued Governor Bullock.

Editor's Note: The number of positive cases in this story was as of press deadline Tuesday afternoon. Please visit www. for the most recent list of positive cases, positive cases by county, and number of residents tested.


As of 3/20/2020, all public meetings have been canceled. The next Council meeting is scheduled for 4/14/2020 at 7 PM. However, as the COVID-19 situation changes, almost hourly, this may change and be moved to a later date or done via conference call, Facebook Live, or some other software program. We are currently looking into this. The Mayor continues to reserve his right to close further public meetings.

Currently, all City Offices (City Hall, Public Works, Library) are all CLOSED to public access. We are open and operational though!

• Three Forks Community Library is offering curbside service for book orders. Please call at 285-3747 Monday - Friday to reserve your book, puzzle or movie!

• All bars, brewpubs, casinos, and restaurants (unless carry-out or delivery), and now gyms, fitness facilities, athletic centers, workout studios, paintball parlors, ice skating rinks, indoor climbing venues, trampoline parks, indoor sporting arenas, cinemas, and theaters ARE ALL CLOSED through 4/10/2020.

• The Headwaters Area Food Bank will be open Tuesday 1-4 pm, Wednesday 2-6 pm, and Thursday 10 am-2 pm for PICK UP ONLY. Call ahead to reserve a box of food if you are in need. 285-3559. A volunteer inside the Food Bank will be ready to bring your food to your car. Pick up spot will be in front of the building on Cedar Street (right at the alley between Main & 1st Avenue E).

• Need someone to grocery shop and deliver that shopping? Contact Charles Eastty to help 406-600-6104. (If you can help with deliveries call Charles to provide him your contact #.)

• Perhaps some shut-ins are needing their prescriptions? You could call and pay for your prescription at Three Forks Family Pharmacy 285-3883. They are offering curbside service and can do the pharmacy counseling at your vehicle from your phone and deliver your medicines to your vehicle. Deb at the Pharmacy can offer delivery, as well as Charles Eastty has volunteers lined up to help deliver.

Utility payments will be accepted and processed promptly from the dropbox, via phone, and online at All credit card processing fees incurred will be credited back to your utility account (you will pay the fee, we will see it, and credit your account).

Please feel free to call City Hall at 285-3431 if you have other questions or concerns.


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