Gov. Bullock hosts press call
Capital loans to hospitals, travelers to quarantine for 14 days
Governor Steve Bullock hosted a press call on Tuesday, March 31 to address the prior day’s directive requiring travelers entering Montana borders to self-quarantine for 14 days. Gov. Bullock also spoke to monetary assistance for hospitals and prohibited eviction of tenants unable to pay rent during the stay at home order.
During the duration of the stay at home order, landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants who cannot pay rent. Late fees and other penalties are also prohibited. Gov. Bullock encouraged payments to be made on time if possible.
While providers agreed to this voluntarily before the directive, suspension of electric, gas, sewage disposal, water, telephone and internet utilities is prohibited.
“So long as this virus forces Montanans to stay home to save lives, Montanans need a home to stay in,” Gov. Bullock said.
The Montana Facility Finance Authority Act will provide working capital loans to hospitals in advance of relief from the CARE Act. “Allowing this financing will provide an immediate need for health care facilities to purchase supplies, pay staff and remain open,” Gov. Bullock said.
On Monday, Gov. Bullock directed visitors to cease coming to Montana during the stay at home order to assist the health care system and help stop the spread of COVID-19 through the community. The Montana Department of Commerce will advise vacation listing and rental sites on notifying out of state renters of this agreement.
Those who enter Montana borders via rail, air or road travel are directed to self-quarantine for 14 days. The National Guard will screen entrants for exposure history and will take temperatures at the airport.
After airplanes are unloaded and temperatures are taken, the National Guard will give travelers information about the directive of mandatory self-quarantine. If an individual displays a temperature, they will be asked to consult with a doctor.
Local health authorities will follow up on these cases and information will be provided as to where they are staying during the 14-day period. No arrest power is given to the National Guard to detain those with temperatures.
Currently 1,600 test kits are available. Another 1,500 are anticipated. Gov. Bullock expressed concerns about testing supplies availability, especially if the national supply chain fell through and the state fell behind testing ability. A backlog of tests is possible if the state is unable to receive more.
“In Montana, there has been no one turned away from tests because we don’t have enough test kits,” he said. The goal is to ensure that everyone in need of a test receives one.