The coronavirus has dealt a major blow to the economy of southwest Montana. The enforced closure of all bars and restaurants along with the decision by many small businesses to shut up shop, means added pressure on an already struggling workforce. That coupled with the threat of illness is putting added pressure on many low income families.
Madison County is on the brink of confirming its first coronavirus patient. A number of people have contacted the Madison Valley Medical Center with COVID-19-like symptoms. At least one has been tested for the virus and doctors are awaiting results from the state laboratory in Helena.
Madison County health officials have ordered the complete shutdown of bars and restaurants in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. Food take away and delivery services will still be permitted. The decision means pretty much all nightlife will grind to a halt. It follows similar moves in Bozeman, Butte, Billings, Helena and Missoula.
Madison County is taking preparedness measures for a coronavirus outbreak.