Fingers crossed, we're on the home stretch of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been a long year, and we're all anxious to get back to everyday life and worry-free traveling! While Bozeman is an excellent place to social distance, we still need to work together to mitigate the spread of the virus until vaccinations are available for everyone. It's shaping up to be a big summer with lots of visitors here in Bozeman. Vacations are booking up, and events such as graduation parties and weddings can commence again. So, it's important to be informed about the status of COVID-19 and local regulations as you plan your visit to Bozeman, Montana this summer.
While Montana currently does not have a statewide mask mandate, the ultimate decision is up to each county health department based on the community's risk. Gallatin County, which Bozeman is a part of, does require face coverings in all indoor public settings. This is currently in effect until April 20, 2021, when the county will reevaluate the rule. The exceptions are for children under 5, while seated eating or drinking, while engaged in strenuous exercise, or medical conditions worsened by wearing a mask. For the latest information about Gallatin County's response to COVID-19, visit the Healthy Gallatin website.
All national parks have a mask mandate, including Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is preparing for a busy season, but the staff has had a year to refine their protocol, and they have robust mitigation procedures in place. They are hoping to have all permanent frontline workers vaccinated by April 2021.
Other Local Regulations
Restaurants and bars are allowed to operate at 50% capacity but can stay open until 2:00 a.m. Indoor events and group gatherings can be no more than 150 people. For gatherings of 50-150 people, all tables need to be six feet apart and no more than six people at a table.
For outdoor events and group gatherings, no more than 250 at one time. Groups of 50-250 have the same table restrictions as indoor gatherings. Groups should avoid unstructured events or activities (such as a dance floor). If you are planning an event of more than 150 people, organizers must submit an operations plan.
The Emergency Rule for Quarantine and Isolation is still in effect. The order requires people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to stay at home and those identified by the Health Department as close contacts to also stay at home. As always, if you aren't feeling well, it's best not to travel.
Cases in our county
Gallatin County is seeing some improvement in COVID-19, with a reduced number of cases. Currently, vaccinations are in Phase 1B+, which includes people aged 60+, and those with elevated risk for COVID-19 complications. If you fall ill while traveling in Gallatin County, you can find testing information here.
Ultimately, we all need to continue to do our part to Keep BZN Safe. Thank you for doing what you can to protect the health of Bozeman locals and visitors alike.
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